Nicholas Baptiste

by Max Marko on January 30, 2017

Nicholas Baptiste - Photo Courtesy of ca.sports.yahoo.com

Nicholas Baptiste, RW

Shoots: R

Height: 6-1

Weight: 201

Born: 1995-04-08

Hometown: Ottawa, ON, CAN

Drafted 2013 by Buffalo Sabres, 69th overall

 

Observations:

January 2017 - Starting off the year on another level, Nick Baptiste is starting to come back down to earth. Nick was able to play a large stint in the NHL with the Sabres at the beginning of the year thanks to some key injuries, including Jack Eichel’s ankle sprain. In his 14 games he scored his first NHL goal and added another. Speed is what made him stand out to begin with and he has stuck with that throughout the year. In the AHL he started the season off with 25 points in his first 28 games. His play is worthy of a recall and he may get one if a injury bug were to come to Buffalo again. Max Marko

 

October 2016 - Nick Baptiste came to training camp this year looking to ensure his rather underwhelming AHL debut was nothing more than small misstep in his journey to the NHL. He did just that after a great camp and a couple of fantastic pre-season games, where he showcased his aggressiveness, quickness, and overall playmaking ability. Baptiste will look to be called up to the NHL club this season if the Sabres were to see some injuries and his pre-season this year should give the organization confidence Baptiste would be a good choice. Max Marko

September 2015 – Baptiste was sent down to Rochester to begin training camp with the Americans. Nicholas wasn't able to show his scoring prowess in both preseason games that he played. He will have to continue to develop his skills at the professional level with the Amerks. Keep an eye on him, an injury in the top six in Buffalo could see Baptiste being one of the early call-ups. Getting the Sabres training camp experience only helps Baptiste grow to be a power forward in the NHL. Paul Zwambag

 

September 2015 – Baptiste played both games in the inaugural Prospects Challenge in Buffalo this year. Baptiste got off to a very fast start, scoring 25 seconds into the first game, Baptiste was set up with a nice pass from Jack Eichel. Just over three minutes later Nicholas scored again, this time set up by Evan Rodrigues. Baptiste has an excellent shot, quick speed and works hard every shift. Baptiste is one of very few players who can produce and keep up with top talented players like Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. His reaction when asked to compare the two, he grinned and said I’m just a lucky guy to be able to have played with both those guys. Baptiste should transition easily to the AHL this year. Paul Zwambag

 

April 2015 - Nick Baptiste scores four goals in Game 4 of the OHL Western Conference Finals against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Two of those goals were scored on the Powerplay, which means he was playing with Connor McDavid, that always helps. His first three goals were from three great shots, his fourth was an empty net but not a typical empty net - he scored from inside his own zone. This is Baptiste's third career hat trick, but first with the Erie Otters. He now has nine goals, eight assists and 17 points in 13 playoff games this year. This kid definitely has a scoring touch. McDavid always gets the media attention, but Baptiste is commanding attention in these playoffs. He is scoring in the playoffs at 1.13 points per game. Paul Zwambag

 

December 2014 – Baptiste won't be joining his new teamate Connor McDavid on Team Canada after being sent packing after the first wave of cuts. Heading into the season Baptiste was a favourite to make the team but ultimately he wasn't able to make enough of an impression for Team Canada's staff to warrant a roster spot. For the 2015 team they really put an emphasis on a four wave attack similar to the 2014 Olympic Team and stressed they wanted skill on each and every line so they could consistently roll out all four lines. Well it may be disappointing for Baptiste the one plus it allows him to get more comfortable with his new team in Erie where he will be able to hopefully build some solid chemistry on a team that has Memorial Cup aspirations. Although he hasn't made the same kind of impact as we saw from him last year his blend of size and skill is something of an awe and can leave you dropping your jaw in amazement. Look for him to really start to find his groove by the time the playoffs come around where you will find his experience to be especially important. Travis Watson

 

November 2014 – Nicholas Baptiste is moving from worst to first after the trade that sent him from the Sudbury Wolves to the league leading Erie Otters. This move helps bolster an already freightening attack even without the services of the ultra talented Connor McDavid who if you haven't heard already is out nursing a broken bone in his hand. Baptiste is expected to start his Erie career on a line with the top overall scorer (Dylan Strome) and top goal scorer (Alex Debrincat) in the OHL which should certainly translate into an uptick in points to the power forwards stat line. The change in scenery should also provide the Buffalo Sabres an opportunity to oversee the chemistry with two potential future linemates with either Connor McDavid(when healed) or Dylan Strome potentially available for the Sabres to draft in 2015. Getting a player of this calibre is a coup for GM Sherry Bassin especially this early in the season to not only make-up for the loss of McDavid but to allow Baptiste to gel with the lineup for the majorirty of the season so once playoffs hit he should be well in sync with the rest of the team. Travis Watson

 

October 2014 – Baptiste making his season debut opened up the bank with two goals albeit they came in a losing effort. However, the Wolves are happy to see their offensive leader back in action and will look to follow his lead as they hope to snap their losing skid which reached 11 after their loss to Peterborough. The expectations are high for Baptiste and he is a prime candidate to help lead Canada back to glory on home ice for the 2015 World Junior Championship. Travis Watson

 

October 2014 – Wolves offensive leader, Nicholas Baptiste, remains sidelined with his lower-body injury but the budding young prospect received good news on October 21st. Baptiste was selected to participate in the Subway Super Series on November 13th when the OHLers take on the Russian All-Star team in Peterborough. Brendan Ross

 

October 2014 – You may wonder why you didn't see Nicholas Baptiste at Sabres training camp or prospect camp. That's because Baptiste suffered a shoulder injury in preseason action for his OHL club, the Sudbury Wolves. He's still expected to be out another week or two and it's unfortunate because he had a real good camp last year and surely he was looking to impress the recently appointed Tim Murray and Co. In all likely hood Sudbury is exactly where he would've ended up anyway because of the glut of forwards in the Sabres system and if he wasn't sent back then he wouldn't be able to don the 'C'. He was appointed co-captain with Brody Silk as the two of them will alternate between home and road games. Once Baptiste returns to good health look for him to wreak havoc amongst opposing teams and put up a solid point-per-game ratio. With the injury and the possible Team Canada inclusion it's unlikely he will be able to contend for the scoring crown this season. This kid is very talented though and it shouldn't take long before he's wearing the blue and gold. Travis Watson

 

August 2014 – Baptiste is one of 41 hopefuls invited to Team Canada's Summer Evaluation Camp taking place August 3rd-8th in Brossard, Quebec. He will be looking to make the World Junior roster for the first time and with his blend of speed, skill and power he should have a great chance at donning the red, white and black. Travis Watson

 

June 2014 – The Buffalo Sabres locked up another draft pick signing Nicholas Baptiste their third round pick from a year ago to an entry-level deal. Baptiste was part of a much heralded 2013 draft class that included the likes of Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, JT Compher, Connor Hurley, Justin Bailey, Gustav Possler and Eric Locke. He's the third member of last years selections to be signed with the others soon to follow. It's likely that Baptiste will be back in Sudbury again next season where he could very well be fighting for the overall scoring lead. After his breakout performance this year and after already having a strong prospects camp last year he has proven he's not too far away from potentially making an impact as he has a pro body and very solid all-around skill set that could see him contribute immediately at the next level. Travis Watson

 

May 2014 – Right winger Nick Baptiste was named to the OHL's 3rd All-Star Team joining Sam Bennett, Max Domi, Matt Finn, Darnell Nurse and Oscar Dansk.  Brendan Ross

 

April 2014 – Nicholas Baptiste and the Sudbury Wolves season came to an abrupt end after being ousted by the battle tested Barrie Colts in a first round matchup four games to one. The Wolves impressed this season finishing the season tied in points with Barrie at 77 but lost out on the home ice advantage due to having four less wins than the Colts. Baptiste was one player for the Wolves that it didn't matter what team they were playing he was always ready for anyone and a big improvement in his game this year saw him improve from a minus-1 player to a solid plus-20. Year after year he continues to impress and improve as he nearly doubled his previous high in both goals and assists this past season leading Sudbury in scoring and finishing as the 12th leading scorer in the entire OHL. He ended the playoffs like he did the regular season as the Wolves top scorer and was the only member of the team to finish as a plus player in their first round defeat to Barrie. Baptiste ends his year with a combined total of 46 goals, 49 assists through 70 games played between the regular season and playoffs. This is a player Buffalo fans should be excited about as he is a real workhorse and can play the bump and grind game while packing some offensive punch. Not likely to secure an everyday roster spot next season but with his work ethic and motivation it won't be long before you see him donning the blue and gold. Travis Watson

 

November 2013 – Nicholas Baptiste of the Sudbury Wolves was named to the OHL roster for the 2013 SUBWAY Super Series. Baptiste’s 12 goals and 22 points through 17 games places him third in Wolves team scoring. Brendan Ross

 

October 2013 – Improvement, that’s what you get with Nicholas Baptiste - improvement every year. Baptiste has already scored as many goals(eight) through six games this season  as he had in his first year in the OHL and is well on his way to surpassing his career high of 21 set just last season. He has been playing like a man amongst boys this season and helping Sudbury get off to a hot start so look for him to try and carry that pace throughout the season to prove he is one of the most complete power forwards in the OHL game today. I feel as though Buffalo has got a steal in Baptiste when they scooped him up in the third round of this past years entry draft and look forward to seeing the new level he carries his game to this season. Travis Watson

 

 

Fantasy Outlook: C+

Possesses all of the intangibles you would want in a hockey player and should evolve into a solid checking-line winger with offensive upside.

 

 

Footage:

Here’s a look at Baptiste and some of those intangibles like puck possession, relentless pursuit and offensive ability put to work while helping Team Canada U18 on route to Gold at the 2013 IIHF U18 World Championship:

 

 

Buy the latest Fantasy Prospects Report here.

 

 

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