Darcy Regier does his homework.
Buffalo74 has already touched on how great the 2008 draft class is looking, with Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis, and Luke Adam making some big hockey statements of late. But Brayden McNabb is looking to add reasons to believe that the 2009 draft class could potentially be just as special – with a bit of a twist.
First, let’s get more familiar with Mcnabb. Checking in at 6-4, 200 lbs, Brayden patrols the blue line as team captain for the WHL’s Kootenay Ice. This season, he set a franchise record for goals scored by a defenseman with 21, good enough for 72 points in the regular season, and was aptly named a 1st team all star for his efforts.
His point total was also good enough for third best among WHL defenseman, behind only Brenden Kichton (Spokane Chiefs) and Stefan Elliot (Saskatoon Blades). To put those rankings in perspective, Elliot earned his points in 71 games playes, Kichton in 64 – and McNabb in only 59.
As for that twist:
Regier was aware of McNabb’s pre-draft credentials – in the 2008-09 season, he played in the CHL Top Prospects Game for Team Orr, adding three assists for the squad and earning a +3. He was a member of Team Canada in the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, in which he and his team received a gold medal, and was also a member of Team Canada for the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championships (bronze medal).
Beyond the awards and credentials though, was one very interesting fact that slipped under the radar of Sabres fans and draftniks: McNabb attended Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, a prep school in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, where he played alongside Tyler Myers.
Well played, Darcy.
McNabb also has a friend in the Sabres 1st round pick of that same 2009 draft in Zack Kassian. The two played together in that 2009 IIHF World U-18 Championships.
Well played, indeed.
Regier has always been fond of growing the core of a team together, as was shown when the current core of Miller Roy, Pominville, Vanek, et al were groomed and brought up together from the AHL. Darcy is looking to give the next core an even greater head start at forming a strong on-ice bond.
So again I ask, who says Regier can’t draft?