After the 2015 NHL Draft, all the attention, and rightfully so, in Buffalo is focused on what happened in the first round: drafting Jack Eichel, trading for Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn, and trading for Robin Lehner and David Legwand. However, when the dust settles, there will likely be another player we remember coming from that draft. Second-round pick Brendan Guhle has already started impressing at Sabres training camp.
The 18-year old Guhle to a three-year entry-level contract about month after drafting him; an uncommon feat for a player drafted 51st overall. Guhle validated Murray’s move by impressing teammates, coaches and hockey pundits alike.
“He’s 18, but you could tell by watching him play, watching him skate. I couldn’t believe how smooth he was,” said Mark Pysyk after being paired with Guhle in a preseason game. “I told him play with confidence; you’re here for a reason, and I think he did that.”
And it’s not just teammates giving friendly compliments. Quite honestly, if [Guhle] had to, I don’t think he’d be out of place [in the NHL] this year, said WGR’s Paul Hamilton on Sabres Hockey Hotline. “That’s how well he’s performed.”
Brendan Guhle is also in. The kid has made a HUGE impression. He’s the only guy who will have dressed for all three games. #Sabres
— Bill Hoppe (@BillHoppeNHL) September 25, 2015
Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma also speaks glowingly of the prospect. “Confidence and poise has been the biggest thing [Guhle’s] shown as a young kid playing a hard position,” Bylsma said. “Coming in as an 18-year-old, it’s not the easiest position to play, and he’s been able to do what he does well, and that’s skate and (play with) poise with the puck.”
A Bright Future Ahead
While we likely won’t see him in the NHL this year unless the Sabres find themselves in (more) injury trouble, those are quite the accolades. If he can stay along the current path, he will find himself in the NHL sooner rather than later. When looking at the future of the Sabres blue line, Guhle has worked himself into the discussion. Hamilton himself said Pysyk and Guhle looked good as a D-pairing. The future of the Sabres blue line could look something like this: Rasmus Ristolainen – Zach Bogosian (let’s not forget he’s only 25) Mark Pysyk – Brendan Guhle Jack McCabe – Brycen Martin (or another prospect yet to emerge) That’s has the potential to be a very good defensive corps., especially if you consider one or two defenseman from the outside would likely be added to the mix.
Whatever the future of the Sabres blue line looks like, it appears Guhle is destined to be a part of it.