Leading up to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Sunday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Leon Draisaitl (C)
Height: 6’1.5” Weight: 204 Shoots: Left
Team: Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
NHL Central Scouting Ranking: No. 4 North American skater
What kind of player is he?
Draisaitl is the “new hotness” amongst the top prospects. Yes, he’s listed No. 4 by Central Scouting so people were already high on him, but his size and skill have some thinking he could unseat fellow centers Sam Reinhart or Sam Bennett in the Top 3.
He had 105 points this season with Price Albert, the same number Reinhart had with Kootenay, tying them for ninth-best in the CHL. He was a powerful playmaker with 67 assists and in highlight reels from the past season he looks like a man amongst boys not only with his skill but his size.
He has great vision and reach to make passes others cannot and has a very quick wrist shot. Check out this highlight reel for proof.
Quotable: TSN’s Craig Button is one of the smartest guys around when it comes to scouting prospects and his thoughts on Draisaitl are interesting as he shared with the Edmonton Journal:
“Leon is a big center who is smart, can make plays and can impact the game in multiple ways. He’s the type of center who is coveted by many NHL clubs because of his combination of size and skill.”
Mark Seidel is the Chief Scout for NACScouting and here’s what his thoughts are on the big German:
“Went through stages where he was the best player in the draft (November & early December) and stages where you wondered about his future (WJC’s). He learned to use his body more and more and has very soft hands for big kid that makes great passes into tight areas. He got much better defensively, has a heavy shot, and excellent anticipation abilities. He doesn’t have a long torso or limbs but very thick and strong. It’s hard to get the puck away from him.”
For more 2014 NHL Draft previews, click here.
Oilers select Draisaitl with the third overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft