Sabres grab Brendan Guhle at 51

The Sabres have selected Brendan Guhle, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman from the Prince Albert Raiders with the 51st pick of the 2015 Draft.

From the draft preview:

Brendan Guhle - LHD, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL), 6'2", 185 lbs.

A big body who has the look of a solid physical presence once his frame fills out, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Guhle is a beautiful skater who embraced a big-minute role this past season after the Raiders dealt Josh Morrissey (WPG) to Kelowna. He isn't an offensive stalwart. nor is he a shutdown, top-pair anchor, but he has the tools to be a good support piece who can lend to the transition game as he settles into his growing body.

I think in most drafts he'd be a solid third round selection, so if he somehow slips to the start of the fourth, you have to look long and hard at a player who is both physical and durable with a raw yet emerging set of offensive tools. We're getting into the area where you're looking to grab developing talents with upside, and Guhle is one that stands out in this category, especially given the Sabres current situation.

I wrote about Guhle earlier this year after his standout performance at the CHL Top Prospects Game:

Like Dunn, fellow Team Cherry defender Guhle (6'2", 186 lbs.) proved himself as another excellent skater who was comfortable pushing the pace with the puck on his stick. Guhle led the offensive rush on several occasions and punched shots through from the point, while mixing in smart plays down low in the defensive zone. At one point early on, he stripped McDavid of the puck in a one-on-one situation. Guhle has room to mature his overall game, but you can’t help but see shades of Travis Sanheim (PHI), a fellow WHL product who was a relative unknown before lighting it up in the second half of his draft year.

The Sabres needed to re-stock the defensive cupboards regardless of left/right shots. After moving Nikita Zadorov on Friday, it's a nice coincidence that Guhle can replace his left-handed stick,

In terms of familiarity as he transitions into the system, Guhle hails from the same hometown as Mark Pysyk - Sherwood Park, Alberta - and also has skated with him in an offseason hockey academy workout. (EDIT: post-draft interviews suggest there is limited familiarity between the two, but it's a connection nonetheless).

Good pick.
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