Now, I know in this year’s draft, everyone in Buffalo is looking for that new franchise player to come in and be the savior of this team. The buzz is all the same; we want a scorer. In all honesty, a scorer is what the Sabres need right now, but do remember that they need improvements in all areas, and that included defense. Yes, ladies and gentlemen I am about to make a case as to why taking Aaron Ekblad at the number two slot this year would be a great idea for the Sabres.
Aaron Ekblad is a 6 foot 4, 216 pound two-way defenseman that plays for the Barrie Colts in the OHL. He is touted on the NHL draft rankings as the second best North American skater (NHL.com) and his statistics (23 goals and 53 points in 58 games) prove his pedigree. Sabres GM Tim Murray has said in multiple interviews that they plan to take the best available player in the draft, and Ekblad might just be what the Sabres need in the long run.
He is a large, imposing defenseman that uses his size and his skill to defend against the best players in the OHL (and yes that includes Connor McDavid). He plays a smart two-way game and is able to know where the play will go. In that regard, he is very smart. His shot is an absolute cannon. Whether it be a wrist, slap, or snap shot, the velocity and pure power behind it makes him an incredible offensive threat whenever he’s on the ice. Aaron Ekblad knows how to score goals, and knows how to set up a play. His solid combination of offensive and defensive skill make him a great candidate to be chosen by the Buffalo Sabres.
His best feature, without a doubt is his shot and offensive push. Don’t let this take away from his defensive game, because he excels in that department as well, but his ability to see an opportunity to score and take it make him the best defenseman available this year. He plays a defensive style of someone like Dennis Seidenberg, and has the offensive style of Mike Green (in his hay day). His place within the Sabres Roster would be best fit in a pairing with Jake McCabe. I know it may sound weird, but McCabe is a solid defensive minded defenseman and would be able to hold the fort down well when Aaron Ekblad goes for the assentive chance. They are both young and could feed off of each other’s game to improve and develop a good relationship.
Below are some of his highlights. What do you all think?