With the 35th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres have selected forward JT Compher from the NTDP.
The Sabres acquired this pick from Carolina by trading Andrej Sekera to the Hurricanes for the 35th pick and defenseman Jamie McBain.
He's a smallish forward, standing at 5'11'', 177 lbs, but plays a two-way game. His intangibles are off the charts, though he doesn't show the world's greatest speed or skill.
Check out what our own Western College Hockey Blog had to say about Compher's game:
So why is Compher considered a candidate to be selected late in the first round of the NHL Draft? Compher's NTDP coach Don Granato summed it up pretty well in Compher's hometown newspaper: ""Anything intangible, as far as an attribute, that I’ve mentioned, he’s a 10."
The phrase "two-way forward" is often the polite cliche for a player with not a lot of offensive talent, but in Compher's case, it's not used in a derogatory fashion. Compher is one of the rare skilled players that exhibits the same effort and enthusiasm without the puck that he does with the puck. He's a tenacious, sometimes nasty, defender that makes life difficult for opponents. His compete level all over the ice is among the best in the draft.