Home Minors Future Sabres: Isak Rosen

Future Sabres: Isak Rosen


By Warren Kozireski —

Rochester fans are getting a bit spoiled with the success of the younger player on the roster. Last season it was AHL Rookie-of-the-Year Jack Quinn and leading scorer JJ Peterka among the league’s top rookies. This year Isak Rosen and Jiri Kulich are among the top-20 first year players in the league in scoring.

And it was announced this week that 2021 first round draft pick (14th overall) Rosen (pronounced roh-Zay-ihn) will be released to join Team Sweden for the upcoming U-20 World Junior tournament to be held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Moncton and Halifax, Canada.

“It’s always an honor to represent your country and it’s a big tournament in Sweden too, not just in the U.S. and Canada. It’s big for the Swedish people…and it’s going to be fun to see what I learned here so far this year and what I can do there,” Rosen said the day he found out.

“He’s been so good; he’s done such a good job as a young 19-year-old,” Rochester head coach Seth Appert said. “For a young kid from Sweden to put that jersey on is a really, really special moment and something he’s going to remember his whole life.

“It will also be a great opportunity to see how much better he’s gotten here. Sometimes when you’re here, you know you’re getting better, but it’s hard because you’re going against men and now, he’ll go back to his own age group and now the challenge will be to keep playing the way you’re playing here—the added physicality, the added competitiveness that he’s put into his game…and try to drive Sweden to a successful tournament.”

“It’s been learning new things, of course, everything around hockey like the living situation and everything like that feels good now and now I’m just going to focus on hockey,” Rosen said.

“I think I started off pretty good and now I had a lull about a month ago, so now I want to get back to what I did before that.

The 5’11”, 174 lb. Rosen came in to his first professional season in North America almost always scoring more goals than assists, but through his first 21 games this season, he had three goals and 11 assists.

“That’s just circumstance—I’ve had chances, but I don’t capitalize as I need to do and I think that’s a big thing for me right now. One goal and I can keep going form that because I think I’m more of a goal scorer.

“You just have to keep shooting and go to the net every chance you have and it’s going to come; just keep shooting and keep going.

Unlike pre-pandemic years in the American Hockey League where a teenager on any roster was a rarity, it is now more and more commonplace. Rochester this year had four on their roster to start the year in Rosen, Kulich, Tyson Kozak and Aleksandr Kisakov though the latter two have or will turn 20 before the end of 2022.

“We have a pretty young team from what I’ve heard, but it was pretty easy to come into this group with a couple of other young players in the same year as me, so it hasn’t been that tough for me. But of course, you’re playing against veterans and you have to get used to that too.

“Similar to Sweden, but I didn’t play this much though; I didn’t have so much playing time.

Add to being a teenager in an older league and you add the pressure of being a first-round draft pick, but Rosen doesn’t see it that way.

“It’s just an opportunity; especially with Buffalo. We have great people here in Rochester and also in Buffalo, so I don’t feel pressure. It’s just a big opportunity for me and I have to take that. I have all the help I need to get to the NHL, so we’ll see how long it’s going to take, but it’s just trying to work hard every day.”

And the adjustment to being on his own for the first time. Rosen lives with fellow Swedes in second-year forward Linus Weissbach and rookie forward Filip Cederqvist.

“First time for me living by myself, so it’s always good to have company. I brought a video system, but I haven’t plugged it in yet. We live downtown, so we go for some coffee after practice, cook some food and watch a movie or some hockey and that’s probably our regular days.”

For three-plus weeks, the apartment will be short one as Rosen dons the blue and yellow sweater of Team Sweden once again.

(Photos by Rochester Amerks)

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