With the 31st pick in the NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres have selected Brendan Lemieux, left wing from the Barrie Colts of the OHL.
Many experts expected Lemieux to go in the first round thanks to his combination of scoring ability and pedigree, but it's his ability to be a fantastic agitator, much like his father Claude, that really helps Brendan stand out. This quote from his Elite Prospects profile helps rive home that point:
Perfectly fits the cliche has a player you hate to play against but love to have on your team. Like his father Claude, Brendan will drive the opposing team crazy as he is the perfect agitator. Lemieux also has the ability to burn you offensively as he is a top 5 scorer on Barrie. He showed the ability to both agitate and score in the CHL top prospects game.
Here's what Kris Baker of Sabres Prospects had to say about Lemieux:
Son of former NHL pest Claude, Lemieux totes the same peskiness and clutch scoring ability that made his father one of the greatest playoff performers of the past 20 years. Scouts tracking Ekblad regularly noticed Lemieux making things happen from between the hashmarks. His powerful cuts and heavy wrist shot helped him score 27 times last season, and his disturbing presence near the crease drew his share of attention from the opposition. When push came to shove, Lemieux dropped the gloves three times, taking on guys who averaged 6-foot-4 and 216 lbs.
Lemieux is that Steve Ott-type that other teams hate, but you love having in your lineup. A former Sabres GM talked often about getting "tougher to play against", and this pick will help make the Sabres just that. It's also worth noting that Lemieux was absolutely seething in his interviews about not being taken in the first round, saying "They just gave one of the most fire-y players a bit more fire".
A left wing with decent size, scoring ability, grit, and tenacity, Lemieux will fit in well to a Sabres prospect pool quickly becoming more talented up front.
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