Sabres land Carrier

Drummondville Voltigeurs forward William Carrier  is now a Buffalo Sabres prospect after the Friday trade that saw Ryan Miller and Steve Ott dealt to the St. Louis Blues.

Selected 57th overall by the Blues in the 2013 draft, Carrier (pronounced Care-ee-AY) is a powerful skater with a well-rounded offensive game. He was ranked the 18th North American skater in Central Scouting's final ranking heading into the draft (ahead of names like Nikita Zadorov - 22nd, J.T. Compher - 34th), but slipped to the late second round after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in December. In 34 games leading up to the injury, the Lasalle, QC native racked up 16 goals, 42 points, and 143 shots on goal while toiling for the lowly Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

With the high ankle sprain behind him, Carrier showcased his ability to the use his speed and hands to produce in high-traffic areas at the Blues summer development camp. The showing earned him his first NHL contract in August, and after scoring two goals and an assist at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, the sturdy forward returned to the QMJHL, where he piled up 41 points (12+29) in 39 games with the Eagles before a January trade sent him to the Voltigeurs. It took Carrier a bit to get get going with his new club, but after notching one assist in his first five games, the skilled wing with a physical side ripped off a five-game point streak to get back on track. To date, Carrier has connected for five goals and 15 points in 21 games with his new club.

The Sabres had a clear need for left wing talent leading up to the deal, and Carrier certainly helps fill that void. He brings a big shot to the pipeline, and isn't afraid to hit the so-called "dirty areas" to make a play. While he brings good speed to the table, his offensive instincts shine when he uses patience to make plays. When breaking down game tape, you immediate notice his ability to get beneath the hash marks to leverage his above-average hands and vision in tight. Carrier will turn 20 in December, and thus is eligible to join the AHL's Rochester Americans for the 2014-15 season.

And just like that, the Sabres have six of the top 60 picks on board from one of the deepest drafts in recent memory.

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