The Buffalo Sabres didn’t have any picks in the sixth round, but they returned in the seventh round to select another Swedish defender, William Worge Kreu.
The Buffalo Sabres ended their 2018 NHL Draft the same way they started it, by selecting a big-bodied Swedish defender. William Worge Kreu was the Sabres’ sixth and final draft pick this year, selecting him with the 187th pick.
Worge Kreu is listed at 6-foot-6 and 181 pounds, which is rather big for a hockey player. Last year, the average height in the NHL was around 6-foot-1, meaning Worge Kreu will be towering over most NHL players.
However, the average weight in the NHL is currently around 200 pounds. That means, while Buffalo’s new defenseman is five inches taller than the average player, he is also 20 pounds lighter than the average.
Listed as a left shot defensive defenseman, he’s another draftee that won’t be expected to contribute heavily on offense. Most of his contributions will come from the defensive end, which is more what the Buffalo Sabres are looking for.
William Worge Kreu has a lot of experience playing in his home country of Sweden. Last year, he saw action in Sweden’s J18 Elit, J18 Allsvenskan, SuperElit and SHL leagues for Linkoping.
In the J18 Elit, he appeared in five games recording one goal, 4 penalty minutes and a +6 line. In the J18 Allsvenskan, Worge Kreu appeared in 4 games, tallying one goal, 10 penalty minutes and a +6 line. Moving on to the SuperElit, which is where he spent most of last season, he appeared in 38 games for Linkoping, recording three goals, 11 assists, 40 penalty minutes and a +6 line once again.
Lastly, he appeared in one game for Sweden’s SHL — the country’s top league — and didn’t record any stats.
William Worge Kreu plays a rather safe game of hockey, always making the right decisions and rarely making a mistake. That type of play will transition well in the NHL and will definitely help score some major points with the coaching staff and teammates.
Elite Prospects, a site that reviews all of hockey’s biggest prospects, noted that he plays especially when in shorthanded situations. The Buffalo Sabres ranked 22nd in the NHL last season when it came to killing the power play, so they will certainly be looking for added help this season. Their penalty kill ended at 77.9%.
Worge Kreu does have family ties to hockey that could explain his love for it. His father, Andreas Kreu, had a “long career in the Swedish pro leagues, primarily with Orebro IK in Division 1 and then Linkoping in Division 1, the Swedish Hockey League and Allsvenskan,” according to Jack Goods of the Buffalo News.
With how the Sabres’ defense played last year, it’s no wonder they used five of their six draft picks on defenseman — three of those being from Sweden. It’s no doubt the offense is coming together rather nicely and will be ready to explode either this year or next. The defense will take a little bit more time to develop, but it definitely got better after the conclusion of the 2018 NHL Draft.
What are your expectations for William Worge Kreu with the Buffalo Sabres? Leave your comments below!