ROCHESTER – Americans winger Isak Rosen took off from the point, moving up as a penalty killer stumbled in his pursuit of defenseman Lawrence Pilut.
As Pilut fended off some hectoring, he fed the open Swede a soft pass in the right circle.
“Got it right into the wheelhouse,” Rosen said following Friday’s 4-2 win over the Toronto Marlies at Blue Cross Arena, his AHL debut.
The Sabres prospect unleashed a wicked one-timer, beating goalie Dylan Ferguson 4:26 into the period.
“Not the hardest shot but it was a pretty good shot,” Rosen said.
The goal impressed Amerks coach Seth Appert a lot more than the rookie.
“What a shot,” he said.
Rosen, the 14th overall pick in 2021, enjoyed a strong debut, also recording as assist on winger Linus Weissbach’s first-period power-play goal.
Having spent parts of the last three seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, the 5-foot-11, 163-pound Rosen possesses pro experience. Still, he must adjust to a faster, more physical brand of hockey in the AHL.
“I try just to adapt every shift on the ice,” he said. “It’s going to take some time.”
To help Rosen acclimate, Appert played him at left wing beside center Sean Malone and captain Michael Mersch, two veterans.
Malone pivoted JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn early last season as the rookies developed into two of the league’s most dynamic scoring threats. Peterka and Quinn, of course, earned promotions to Buffalo this season.
Appert believes putting Rosen with Malone can help him increase his tenacity.
“Sean did a great job last year starting with Peterka and Quinn,” Appert said. “Malone’s a guy that kind of brings you into the fight with him, because he’s a player that likes to battle, likes the physicality, likes to win puck battles. Whatever line he’s on, he seems to drag guys into the fight with him.
“And so I think that’s an important aspect of Rosen’s game that’s we’re continuing to try to grow and develop is the puck battles and hunting the puck. I thought he did a really good job of that tonight.”
FIRST AHL GOAL FOR ISAK ROSEN, LET’S GOOOOO! pic.twitter.com/WqgPTUfXyL
— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) October 15, 2022