When the combination of trades and injuries depleted the Sabres forward ranks last week, one name immediately came to the mind of General Manager Tim Murray as the team discussed who to bring up from Rochester. Nicolas Deslauriers was assigned to Rochester after being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in the Brayden McNabb trade but he never played for the Amerks.
Instead, Deslauriers made his NHL debut with the Sabres. Its expected the Quebec native will go down to the American Hockey League when some of the injured players return. In the meantime, he's making a positive impression.
The 23 year old has brought some size to the organization with his 6'1", 230 pound frame. He's shown that he likes to use that big body to play a physical game. But Deslauriers has offensve skill as well.
He was a defenseman in juniors and in his first two seasons with the Kings AHL affiliate but was considered more of an offensive defenseman than a solid stay at home blue liner.
LA decided to move Deslaurier to forward this season and that move has paid off for the young prospect. In 60 games with the Manchester Monarchs, Deslauriers had a team leading 18 goals. He was second in points with 39 and third in penalty minutes with 76.
Since he played defense and has a strong shot, Deslauriers should be able to help out the power play. He logged some time at the left point on the power play during the Sabres loss to Chicago. Deslauriers had 13 power play goals over his last three years in the Quebec Major Junior League.
Ted Nolan saw Deslauriers play in Manchester while watching his son Jordan who is currently with the Kings and always admired Deslaurier's enthusiasm for the game. Nolan said the Sabres organization needs bigger bodies especially when you think about getting back into the playoffs. Nolan said they'll need big guys to try and get through four playoff series. Nolan added that Deslauriers will probably go to Rochester since the best way to develop younger players is to not bring them up too early. The Amerks are also winning and the organization wants their best young players to experience that feeling.