In preparation for the NHL Draft on June 25, Die by the Blade will profile potential Buffalo Sabres Draft Picks. This feature will run daily with one or two players profiled each day.
Warroad (Minnesota - HS)
6'-3" 205 lbs.
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Date of Birth: October 15, 1991
Stats: 25 GP, 39 G, 34 A, 73 PTS 38 PIM
The Good - Offense, Offense, Offense. Nelson is a powerful kid that skates well and is very creative with the puck. He has great hands and with his speed, he can carry the puck and see the entire ice. The kid has a huge upside and could be a steal at #23. He is set to attend North Dakota next season where he will be expected to improve his game.
Comes from a hockey family. His grandfather, Billy Christian, won a gold medal in 1960 for the United States and his uncle was Dave Christian of 1980 Olympic fame.
The Bad - He hasn't been tested enough because of playing high school hockey. The level of competition allowed him to put up unbelievable numbers and didn't test him enough. He is very rough around the edges and will have to improve the little things that are taken for granted in the high school game.
What They Are Saying
Director of NHL Central Scouting EJ McGuire
"Big, strapping center in the Minnesota High School league. Going to North Dakota next year and destined to be an NHLer with 6-2 frame, 205 pound build. Guaranteed, hard-skating power forward."
Why The Sabres Might Pick Him
He has too much raw talent to pass up in the less than desirable number 23 slot. If the Sabres move up, not likely, they might find a better player but at 23 he might be the best. He is a big body and plays like a power forward. If he develops his game, he could be a dominant NHL player.
Why The Sabres Might Pass on Him
Not willing to wait on potential. Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff know their time is limited and they don't want to draft a guy that might not see a Sabres uniform for 4-5 seasons. It would be too risky of a pick for the current duo.