Position: Left Wing
Weight: 209 lbs.
2013-14 team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
Acquired: Taken in the second round (31st overall) in the 2014 draft
Last year's ranking: N/A
Since being taken with the first pick of the second round, Brendan Lemieux has been a controversial selection here on Die By The Blade. Some readers see him as having real top six potential, while others look at him and think that he projects as nothing more than a bottom six face puncher.
Lemieux was the Sabres first of three second round picks in this year's draft. He really stepped up his game with the Barrie Colts, scoring 27 goals and 26 assists. He was third on the team in points. He also led the team with 145 penalty minutes.
As you likely know by now Lemieux's father is Claude Lemieux, and Brendan models his game after him. He has the reputation of being a player you love on your team, but hate when you play.
He was a member of Canada's gold medal winning U-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament and scored a goal in the championship game.
Lemieux was notable frustrated about dropping out of the first round, despite the fact that few people really projected him to go there. What's good for the Sabres is that he's said it will serve as added motivation, as he's hoping that he can make the rest of the league pay for passing on him.
He may be physical, but Tim Murray and the Sabres feel that he has a high scoring ceiling.
"We like the style of game he plays," Murray told the media after the pick. "He plays a chippy, intimidating style. But in saying that, he's not a one-dimensional player. He can score goals. He can shoot the puck. He goes to the net. He goes to the dirty areas. We like the whole package."
He'll almost certainly be back with the Barrie Colts this season for a third year, although he has said he wants to be playing in the NHL this season. He's likely not ready for that just yet.
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