If you need a hockey fix and you'd like to watch a couple of players who should figure prominently in the future of the Buffalo Sabres, make sure you check out the World Junior Championships which begin Wednesday in Russia.
The Sabres actually will have four prospects who will be competing for their respective countries. The top prospect is 2012 first round pick Mikhail Grigorenko who is on Team Russia. Grigorenko has been tearing up the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League scoring 29 goals and adding 21 assists in 30 games for the Quebec Remparts. According to a recent report in Canada, the Sabres have decided to keep Grigorenko in juniors for the rest of the season even if the lockout is settled.
Team Russia goalie Andrey Makarov is also Sabres property. Makarov, who went undrafted, is on loan to Saskatoon of the Western Hockey League. He's 15-13 for the Blades this season with a 2.84 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.
Another highly rated prospect is Joel Armia and he'll be playing for Finland. The Sabres first round pick in the 2011 draft is currently playing for Assat Pori in Finland and has recorded 10 goals, 4 assists in 25 games.
Another member of the Sabres Class of 2012 will be representing his country as Jake McCabe patrols the blue line for Team USA. McCabe, who was selected in the 2nd round last June, is playing for the University of Wisconsin. He has 2 goals and 7 assists in 16 games for the Badgers.
You can see these players on the NHL Network. Here are the dates and broadcast times:
December 26 Russia vs Slovakia 9:00 am/ 8:00 pm
December 27 USA vs Germany 8:00 pm
December 28 USA vs Russia 8:00 pm
December 29 Russia vs Germany 9:00 am/ 5:30 pm
December 30 USA vs Canada 8:00 pm
December 31 USA vs Slovakia 8:00 pm
December 31 Canada vs Russia 9:00 am/ 5:30 pm