Estephan goes to Buffalo at #152, Chukarov #182

If you follow the trajectory of certain draft year players and isolate second-half risers, the name Giorgio Estephan is very familiar to you.

Standing 6-feet tall, 184 pounds, Estephan is a smooth, slick playmaker who sees the ice extremely well. I wouldn't classify him as an offensive dynamo, but rather a complete utility player who works both side of special teams and helps protect late leads. Unfortunately, those late leads were few for the Hurricanes this past season as the club finished with a 20-44-5-3 record.

Estephan finished the year with 23 goals and 51 points, with 19 of those goals coming in 34 games after January 1. He collected 37 points total the final 34 contests,

An instinctive player who finds soft spots in the offensive to set up and finish, Estephan fits the mold of what is working out to be a theme in the 2015 draft. He competes hard at both ends of the rink, something he's needed to learn as he ascended into the role of matching up against the opposition's top players. He'll need to add more acceleration and overall speed to his skating game, but he'll have plenty of time to work on that and the usual strength development over the next two seasons in Lethbridge.

***

The Sabres swung for the fences with their final pick of the day, selecting left-handed defenseman Ivan Chukarov with the 182nd overall selection.

Chukarov (6-3, 200) is a mobile defender who can wheel and deal with the puck. The Chicagoland product racked up 12 goals, 43 points and a plus-38 rating this past season for the NAHL's Minnesota Wilderness to earn a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts. Chukarov, who has a reputation as a solid defender in addition to his puck-moving prowess, will join the Minutemen as a 20-year-old freshman for the 2015-16 season,


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