The Buffalo Sabres reassigned forward prospect Olivier Nadeau to the AHL’s Rochester Americans Monday, the team said in a tweet. Buffalo selected Nadeau, 20, in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
Nadeau’s junior hockey season ended last week when the Québec Remparts swept his Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL in the third round. The 6-foot-2 forward, who spent three seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes before a trade to Gatineau last July, had a monster year for the Olympiques with 46 points in 34 games and a staggering +41 rating.
The Americans are still alive in the Calder Cup Playoffs, with defender Lawrence Pilut’s overtime heroics on Saturday sending them to a North Division Final matchup against the Toronto Marlies, which begins Thursday. Nadeau could sneak into the Rochester lineup for that series ahead of players like Josh Passolt, who’s played all five playoff games for the Americans after spending nearly all of the regular season in the ECHL.
With Nadeau hitting the 20-year age mark and completing four seasons of junior hockey, this transaction also ends his career in the QMJHL. Under contract with Buffalo, Nadeau is eligible to play for Rochester full-time in 2023-24.
Nadeau sets himself apart with his hockey sense. He’s among the smartest (if not the smartest) players in the Buffalo system and translates that intelligence into skilled plays. His goal-scoring ability has also improved since his draft year, evidenced by a 35-goal campaign for Shawinigan in 2021-22.