As I continue with our asking the question, “What if the Sabres trade up in the draft?” I feel compelled to point out that the names Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek continue to be bandied about by people within the Buffalo Sabres organization (click here for the latest example) and that the Los Angeles Kings spent plenty of time saying they would not trade Jonathan Bernier . . . only to trade him to the Toronto Maple Leafs over the weekend. Rumors and trade talk will continue right up through draft day, folks – fun!
Jonathan Drouin, Forward
If Nathan MacKinnon is viewed as being the more complete offensive player who will almost certainly be NHL-ready in a matter of no time, Drouin is viewed as a little bit of a risk due to his size – generously listed at 5’10”, 186 lbs. However, Drouin has the makings of becoming a slightly larger version of Martin St. Louis – pretty good company to be in, if you’re Drouin. Drouin is a creative player, with a great set of hands and the ability to produce many highlight-reel goals in his NHL career. He was paired up with Nathan MacKinnon in the QMJHL this past season and wound up leading the league in scoring, with numbers of 41-65-106 and a plus-49 rating in 49 games played. Not only was he named the MVP of the QMJHL, but he was also named the Canadien Hockey League’s Player of the Year. He did take a bit of a backseat in the playoffs to MacKinnon, and he only managed to score one goal during the Halifax Mosseheads run through the Memorial Cup tournament. Still, he notched 8 assists in that tournament, second most out of all players.
Drouin’s a scorer . . . but it is worth noting that some sources (such as Bleacher Report) do not see Drouin as being the sort of player who will have an immediate impact for the team that picks him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Drouin winds up being the 4th or 5th pick in the draft, which could bode well for Buffalo if they can move up that high.
Why the Buffalo Sabres Should Pick Drouin
Raise your hand if you wouldn’t like the next iteration of Martin St. Louis playing for the Sabres. Didn’t think so. Any so-called NHL “expert” who is telling you that the Sabres need to pick a defenseman first is really an escaped lunatic posing as a sports writer so the authorities won’t find him and return him to the asylum. Buffalo needs offense, and what they could use is a young electrifying player. One who can put people in the seats and give them hope for the future wouldn’t be so bad, either!
Why the Buffalo Sabres Won’t Pick Drouin
Raise your hands if you want the Sabres to have not only the youngest, but the shortest, roster in the NHL. Didn’t think so. The Sabres already have Nathan Gerbe (5’5″) and Tyler Ennis (5’10”) on the team – do they need another player under six feet? Besides – if the Sabres can move up enough to land Drouin, they would be better off picking Valeri Nichushkin . . . who I will discuss in my next post!
Enjoy Drouin’s highlights, and let me know what you think!