Justin Schultz

Button: Schultz is the No. 1 affiliated prospect in hockey

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We’re almost into the season where we start scouting out the 2013 draft class, but what about the players who have been drafted already and are waiting for their shot to make the NHL? TSN’s top scout and former Flames GM Craig Button has a Top-30 list just for them.

At the top of Button’s list is Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz. The former Ducks draft pick and current Oklahoma City Barons star was signed over the summer and currently leads the AHL in points. Button, of course, speaks very highly of the former University of Wisconsin product.

“Justin possesses all of the necessary elements to be a catalyst for what looks to be exciting times ahead for the Edmonton faithful. His combination of excellent skating, passing, thinking, anticipation and the desire to make a difference when it matters most, gives the Oilers a look of a player they have not had since the days of Paul Coffey.”

Schultz has a future Oilers teammate with him in the top five of Button’s rankings in Nail Yakupov. Meanwhile, the top five is rounded out with Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov at No. 2, Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko at No. 3, and Leafs 2012 first-rounder Morgan Rielly fourth.

You can check out the full Top 30 here.

Derek Roy continues his career in Switzerland

Alex Tanguay, Derek Roy
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Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.

Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.

The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).

His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.

Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.

He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.


Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.