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Photo courtesy WHL.com

Don’t sleep on Leon Draisaitl












During a meeting with the WGR staff, Buffalo Sabres’ general manager Tim Murray was asked if he knows who he would like to take with the No. 2 overall pick. His answer: Yes.

If you have read mock drafts or looked at Central Scouting rankings, you are probably under the assumption the Florida Panthers will take defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Sabres are targeting either Sam Bennett or Sam Reinhart. But Murray talked about the top of the draft as if there are four possible candidates for the top pick.

The missing name in the conversation has been German-born forward Leon Draisaitl, who Murray included in his mini list of possible picks at either No. 1 or No. 2.

Central Scouting has him as the fourth ranked North American skater.  

The Central Scouting list does not always translate to the order in which players are drafted. The No. 1 player on their list last year Seth Jones was taken fourth. In 2012, Alex Galchenyuk was selected by Montreal at No. 3 after being ranked fourth.

So could the Sabres see him as a better prospect than the Sams? Could they see him as a player who will drop a few slots, giving them an opportunity to trade down?

Central Scouting’s description of Draisaitl sounds like a guy who belongs with the elite class:

"You want to talk about a miniature Jaromir Jagr with a Doug Gilmour-type intensity, you've got him right here," Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan told NHL.com.

"Draisaitl does it all for his team; he's displayed a willingness to compete and be a difference maker game in and game out," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald said. "He's got good power and size. I feel he's also had to overcome more and work harder than most players."

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound center scored 38 goals and 67 assists in 64 games for the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. His scoring total was identical to Reinhart, who notched 36 goals and 69 assists.

NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said a good comparison for Draisaitl might be James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs or Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.
 

 

06/16/2014 7:10AM
Don’t sleep on Leon Draisaitl
Please enter your comments below.
06/16/2014 7:56AM
No.
He is NOT a consensus number 2 pick so he should not be drafted number 2 overall. What is wrong with your station that you have articles like this? It is simple: take Ekblad if he is available; if not pick a Sam and hope you didn't lose out too badly. That is it. Keep in mind that Ted Nolan is still the coach and this team is NOT I repeat NOT any of the following teams: the LA Kings, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Anaheim Ducks, the San Jose Sharks, the Colorado Avalanche, nor even the Pittsburgh Penguins or the New York Rangers. You are a perpetual also-ran in the NHL until and unless an absolute miracle happens and your team goes and gets one of the top NHL coaches and spends insanely for a decade or more on the TOP players in the NHL. Seeing as neither event will happen, get used to listening to idiots like Paul Hamilton telling you about the defensemen HE thinks are good in the league (hint: he has no clue).
06/16/2014 8:26AM
Anze Kopitar?
Grab him!
06/16/2014 8:37AM
yeah
but it was also said many times during the year that this guy was not playing hard every game and floating.
06/16/2014 8:48AM
highlight goals lol
That first goal matt ellis could have scored, looked like a fluke. Went off a skate. lol, rather draft a big time talent like bennett or reinhart
06/16/2014 9:18AM
Any trades yet? Has Leino been bought out yet?
The Cup has been won. Season is over. What are we waiting for?
06/16/2014 10:12AM
If the Sabres think...
this kid is the best centermen then take him..although i think Reinhart should be the best. They know their arse's are on the line with this pick. "German Gretzky" ...now that's a bit overboard...i also get a little antsy about the thought of taking a euro-esp german in the top 5.
06/16/2014 10:39AM
Absoluely should not be drafted at #2
Draisaitl is a tier below Ekblad, Reinhart and Bennett. Kris Baker will tell you the same thing too. He will be drafted in the top 10, probably top 5 but he just is not good enough to be drafted in the top 3. He in no way, shape or form projects to be a 1st line center and essentially what the Sabres would be drafting with Draisaitl is another Stafford or Connolly. The bust potential with this player far outweighs the potential that he will emerge as a star player in the NHL. Now some jackwagon out there that claims to know everything about everything when it comes to NHL scouting will try and contradict what I am saying with some weak false argument. This player should be given "zero" consideration by Murray at #2. If Draisaitl is the pick instead of Reinhart, Ekblad or Bennett then the Buffalo Sabres will have failed the draft and the hockey club will be permanently damaged forever because Draisaitl will be put in a position where he just doesn't have the capability or talent to exceed since he will be consistently dominated by infinitely better players on opposing teams.
06/16/2014 12:31PM
SAN ANTONIO - SMALL MARKET TEAM CHAMPIONS... AGAIN!!!!
WALART= "THEEEE BIGGEST NICKLE AND DIME LOoSER FRANCHISE IN ALL OF PRO SPORT" FORE FOREVER!! WHO'S ELITE? WHERE'S ELITE? HOW'S ELITE? FORRRRRRRRRRRRRRR EVR FOREM UP ! DARCY WILL GET CREDIT FOR THE REBUILD! Say my name.
06/16/2014 12:37PM
SAN ANTONIO - SMALL MARKET CHAMPIONS... AGAIN!!
WALMART= "THEEEE BIGGEST NICKLE AND DIME LOoSER FRANCHISE IN ALL OF PRO SPORT" FORE FOREVER!! WHO'S ELITE? WHERE'S ELITE? HOW'S ELITE? FORRRRRRRRRRRRRRR EVR FOREM UP ! DARCY WILL GET CREDIT FOR THE REBUILD! Say my name.
06/16/2014 2:02PM
European Team?
Did the Red Wings have any goal in mind to take European players and form their dynasty? A few years ago when they won the cup they had Zetterburg, Franzen, Datsyuk among other European players on their roster. Is there something about bringing together players from different European countries that causes something to click and provides great chemistry? The Spurs did it (and are doing it) with a core of European players aside from Duncan. Could there be something to this? Draisaitl is from Germany, and with Girgensons from Latvia, Ristolainen from Finland,and Grigorenko from Russia, could the Sabres be eyeing this same strategy on building a core of European players? It might be something to keep an eye on.
06/16/2014 9:59PM
trade down with islanders
The Islanders want Reinhart to play with his dman brother Griffin who is their property already. Drafting an elite centre this year will allow Garth Snow to say, 'this reinhart is as elite as Eichel or McDavid, so I lost nothing in the Vanek deal'. Murray is content to drop as low as 7th so he will be happy with Draisaitl or even Dal Colle at 5th. Islanders don't have many good forwards in their minor system but do have some great young dmen including ryan pulock and adam pelech. Buffalo will trade down to 5, letting Islanders get their 'mcdavid replacement' in Reinhart. In exchange, buffalo takes Pelech and Islanders two second round picks - giving buffalo 5 second rounders this year which they can use to trade back into later part of first round.
06/17/2014 10:54AM
Another Euro
Here we go take another Euro that will not pan out. Take the obvious skill set and stop guessing and hoping. It is time to start winning and not just filling seats or Mr Pegula nad Blacks pockets!
06/17/2014 11:01AM
Re: trade down with Islanders
Only if Tavares comes back this way otherwise stay in position and take Reinhart. You must be listening to the douchebags on 'GR way too much. Quit while you are ahead. The Sabres will stay at #2 in round 1. No sense blowing that opportunity.
06/17/2014 11:23AM
Re: trade down with islanders
In other words: in an already awfully thin draft (in comparison to last year or next year at least) where there is ONE elite player (and that one is a defenseman) and about two very good players available, with NONE of those three even truly capable of starting this season in the NHL; THAT'S the year you think it is wise to trade down and NOT get one of those three players? Oh and on top of that you are going to crow about getting second round picks in a draft that is already that thin in the FIRST round? Good luck with that logic!
06/17/2014 1:01PM
re:European Team?
If what you say has any truth to it all then this is about the worst possible plan any team could have. Detroit is the lone exception to the rule in building a team of Euros. I'm not on board at all with the Sabres trying to be an exception to the rule. Regier tried bucking the trend for many years with his small, girlish forwards and D-Men that he became infatuated with. If there was one other team that this model worked for besides Detroit it might be worth a shot for Murray to build it this way. Taking the road less traveled might work in life...but in pro hockey it has never worked for the Buffalo Sabres. It's time that the Buffalo Sabres started following the general rule of team building. The rule of the Kings, Blackhawks and Bruins.
06/18/2014 4:02AM
Buffalo Can Milk This
Provided Buffalo is willing to give up on Ekblad, they are in a really good position. They can trade down their #2 pick for assets and still likely get the player they are targeting.
06/19/2014 9:26PM
idiots
haha I love how many of you people say this kid will suck when compared to Ekblad or either of the two Sams. didn't know we have so many nhl scouts reading wgr articles.
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