Sabres sign Leduc

The Sabres announced on Friday that they have agreed to terms with Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (2010, 3rd round) on a three-year entry-level contract. An offensive-minded defenseman, Leduc currently leads all Canadian junior rearguards with 20 goals and 51 points through 35 games. (The second highest goal total to date is just 12, owned by 17-year old Ryan Pulock of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings.)

From the Sabres release:

“Jerome has continued to improve as a player since we selected him [in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft],” Regier said. “His play in Rimouski this season demonstrates the offensive abilities that he possesses.”

Gauthier-Leduc (6’1”, 188 lbs., 7/30/92) currently ranks 12th among all QMJHL skaters with 51 points (20+31) in 35 games. Gauthier-Leduc’s 51 points give him a wide lead in scoring among QMJHL defensemen – 14 more than the next closest blueliner. His nine power play goals tie him for sixth among QMJHL skaters.

In June, Gauthier-Leduc was invited to Team Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp. He followed that up by opening the 2011-12 season on a 12-game point streak, during which he recorded 26 points (11+15). In the midst of that streak, Gauthier-Leduc scored a goal in eight consecutive games, breaking the 31-year-old QMJHL record for defensemen set in the 1970-80 season by Gaston Therrien.

A deadly right-handed shooter, Leduc's offensive skill set adds to the same side of the blueline addressed by the Sabres in recent years with the development of fellow righthanders Tyler Myers and Mark Pysyk. View the playlist below to check out the number of goals he has scored via point blasts this year:

The Leduc signing means that the Sabres have now inked their first four picks from the 2010 draft (Pysyk - 23rd, Leduc - 68th, Sundher - 75th, M. MacKenzie - 83rd).
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