Philadelphia, PA (WGR 550) -- The Sabres have had two prominent German players on their team in Jochen Hecht and Christian Ehrhoff.
They could add a third if they draft Leon Driasaitl on Friday with the second overall pick.
The kid come over to North America and played two years of junior in Prince Albert. This past season in 64 games the centerman netted 38 goals and 67 assists for 105 points. He also played for Germany at the World Junior Tournament where in six games he had six points along with 52 penalty minutes. He also participated in the World Championships. There in seven games he had four points playing against mostly professionals. Despite scoring two goals and four assists, he didn’t like how he played at the World Juniors, “I know I did not play very well there and faced some big adversity, but at the same time it made me even stronger. I know what it’s like to face adversity and I know how to handle it so it was a good experience.” Draisaitl flipped his experience playing better in May during the Worlds. He said, “Every International Tournament is unbelievable. It’s so much fun playing against the best players in the world, so it’s safe to say that I enjoyed it more. Every time putting on the German jersey, it’s something special and I’m extremely proud of it. I think it all came down to myself putting too much pressure on myself. The pressure I had at the World Juniors was pretty high and people were expecting a lot and pretty much everyone knows what happened.”
By being active on the National team, he thinks a lot about two of the better German born players, “I’ve never really talked to them, but they mean a lot to German hockey. If you think of Ehrhoff right now, he’s probably one of the best defenders in the league and that’s something special and the same with Jochen, he’s had a great career and he’s good for German hockey.”
Draft coverage begins Friday at 6:30 with the Sabres, but our guys Brian Koziol, Pat Malacaro and Matthew Coller will bring the opinions from 9:30 until midnight. Brian Duff and I will also be along both Friday and Saturday from the draft floor.