2015 Sabres Draft Profiles: Dennis Yan

Dennis Yan scored often in the QMJHL, but his defense slides him down to a second-round rating.

Dennis Yan

Position: LW

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 184 lbs.

Current Team: Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

Central Scouting Ranking: 30 (North America)

ISS Ranking: 48

Dennis Yan is another player in the draft with U.S. roots and another that played on the Development team. However, it was in the CHL this season when he really clicked offensively.

He's a skilled offensive player, which he displayed in his first season of Canadian juniors this season. At the center of his game is his excellent shot, which helped him score 33 goals this year. He can skate and isn't afraid to use the body.

Yan led his team in scoring this year and in +/-. He produced in the playoffs as well, scoring seven goals in seven games. He played for the U.S. at the Hlinka Memorial Tournament this season, and had a very good showing. He scored four goals and four assists in five games.

There are a lot of two-way players in this draft. Yan is not one of those players. He's offense first, and his defense leaves much to be desired. As seen in some of the quotes below, he certainly isn't a Ted Nolan type player, as his compete is questioned frequently due to his inconsistent play and lackluster back-checking.

He was born in Portland, Oregon before moving to his parent's home country of Russia at 5-years-old. He returned to the States as a teenager to improve his hockey skills.

Most rankings have Yan slotted somewhere in the middle of the second round, but there are a lot of centers and defensemen lumped into this group. If Murray takes a defenseman with the 21st pick, Yan would be one of the top left wingers left on the board at 31.

What They're Saying

"Yan is a very skilled player who shows signs of being a real high end talent who can impact the game in a significant fashion. At times, it appears he doesn't know how good he can be and how he could dominate. If he improves and finds consistent purpose and intensity, he could be very good."


"Scouts would like to see more consistency of effort. One said Yan is not just a streaky performer from game to game, but that he can often be that kind of player from period to period. 'I'd describe him as being a player who can show you all the elements of being a really strong player and then leave you asking where did that player go that I just saw?' said a scout. "I see fluctuations in his play, but I see the high end in him as well. My biggest question on him is, does he compete?'"

-The Hockey News

"Highly skilled winger with excellent speed, first step and offensive instincts. A natural goal scorer finds the open space and buries his chances. Displays a lightning fast release, and hard shot. Flies around the net and finds the soft spots in coverage, always involving himself in high traffic areas. He is a scorer but also an offensive generator, with soft hands and great balance at high speed. Surprisingly physical in pursuit of the puck, and a good forechecker. Needs to balance his offensive prowess with lots more work in his defensive zone."

-Bill Placzek, Last Word On Sports