Instead of talking to Buffalo Sabres prospect Isak Rosen about his first taste of the Calder Cup Playoffs, Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert and his staff wanted to hear from the rookie.
“What did he learn? What did he take away from those experiences?” Appert said on a Zoom call Friday. “Those are the best developmental moments, is when they own their development and we can poke questions and prod them, but they’re the ones doing the processing and the thinking and the speaking.”
Rosen, 20, knew he performed poorly after the Amerks dropped the first two games on the road to the Syracuse Crunch in the best-of-five AHL North Division semifinal. The experience taught the Swedish winger he needed to play more tenaciously. Things he could get away with during the regular season wouldn’t fly in the playoffs.
“The tempo and everything rises in the playoffs,” Rosen said after the Amerks prepared for tonight’s decisive Game 5 at Upstate Medical Arena in Syracuse. “I think just from the two first games I learned very much about that. You have to be there every moment of the game, every second and millisecond of the time you’re on the ice, just be ready. Maybe do a simpler play than normal sometimes and stuff like that just to make progress in the game.”
Appert said Rosen “was able to self-assess pretty darn quickly at what some of the issues were.”
“Then we just helped walk him through some of the solutions,” he said.
With five days between games last week, Appert said Rosen increased his will, deciding “to attack the game versus letting the game attack him.”
“He was able to put a chip on his shoulder,” he said of the 14th overall pick in 2021.
The 5-foot-11, 168-pound Rosen scored 5:31 into last Friday’s 8-5 win in Rochester, a goal that infused him with confidence. He later assisted on rookie center Jiri Kulich’s go-ahead goal. While Rosen did not record a point in Sunday afternoon’s 4-0 home victory, he pumped a team-high four shots on net and stood out throughout the game.
“Just brought a confidence from what I learned in Syracuse and also experience I had for the first three playoff games,” said Rosen, who scored 14 goals in the regular season.
Sabres center Peyton Krebs has been named to Team Canada’s roster for the World Championship, which begins next Friday in Finland and Latvia.
Sabres goalie Devon Levi and winger Jack Quinn confirmed last month they would be representing Canada at the tournament.