The 2013 NHL Draft takes place this Sunday, and the Buffalo Sabres have a whole bunch of picks in the first two rounds - four, to be exact. There are a heck of a lot more than four players that will be taken in the first two rounds, however, so over the next few days, we're going to throw some previews out featuring some prospects that could be available with each of their first few picks. Today: No. 52.
Finally, we get to WNY native Justin Bailey. The 6'3'' right winger hails from Williamsville, NY, and has professional bloodlines - his father was Carlton Bailey, former Buffalo Bills linebacker. As far Bailey himself goes, he adds a great shot to his large frame, and his family's natural athleticism shows through when he's on the ice. However, injuries have slowed his development, thus earning him the distinction of a raw prospect, though with very high upside. Hockey Prospectus writer Cory Pronman sums up Bailey like this: "Whoever drafts Bailey inherits the risk of a player that has a fairly equal chance of being a top-six player or a bust."
As you may have guessed from the last name, Jordan Subban is the younger brother of recent Norris Trophy winning defenseman P.K. Subban. He's a right-handed blueliner who, like his brother at his age, shows great offensive skills but some major question marks defensively. He's a great skater, and scored 51 points in 68 games thanks to his offensive acumen. However, he's still prone to making mistakes in his own end, and stands just 5'9''.
If you're willing to believe his own brother, though, Jordan may one day be better than P.K. My favorite quote from that article regarding Jordan from his brother is: "Put it this way: There are seven people in our family, and if there are six slices of pizza on the table, Jordan's getting one. He's that type of kid, and he has that type character."
Poirier is on this list not just because I think he's a possible target for the Sabres (though he could be) but because he exemplifies the type of player you're looking at in the mid-to-late second round and beyond. These guys still do many things well, as Poirier does, boasting good scoring touch, grit, coordination, and hockey sense. However, these prospects all show a glaring need in one or two areas, and in Poirier's case, it's his skating and agility. Scouts are conflicted on just how much he needs to work on it, but it's clearly a weakness in his game at this point compared to others.