2013-14 Team: Prince Albert (WHL)
From: Cologne, Germany
“He’s a guy that is very dangerous, not only on the power play but on 5-on-5 as well. He’s a special player and to me, he played his best hockey down the stretch the last while for us. He’s a big reason we got into the playoffs. We had a stretch there in the regular season where we lost him and (Josh) Morrissey to world juniors, we had a couple more key injuries and a horrible flu bug go through our team at the same time. I think we lost eight or nine of 10 games and that really put us in a tough spot but Leon’s play really helped us get back on track.”
– Prince Albert Head Coach Cory Clouston
Leon Draisaitl isn’t the top prospect in 2014 NHL Draft as he is just a little bit behind the top three of Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t ready for the NHL. I would dare to say that all four of them will be in the NHL next season.
Draisaitl also has an advantage now that the other three don’t. He has played against current-NHL talent. That was accomplished quite recently at the 2014 World Championships in which he was one of four 18-year olds participating at the event.
No sense of self-depreciation in him, Draisaitl compares himself to Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. He has also drawn comparisons to the Los Angeles Kings’ Anze Kopitar. If he turns out to be half the players they are, whoever takes him is in line for a good pick.
Like Sam Bennett, Draisaitl fits best in Alberta. He is very likely to end up in Edmonton if the defenseman Ekblad is unavailable. No matter what, he will break Marcel Goc’s record of being the highest-drafted German player ever.