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Prince Albert's Draisaitl named WHL player of week

by Mike G. Morreale

Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, on Monday was named the Denny's Western Hockey League Player of the Week.

Draisaitl, who had five goals, nine points and a plus-5 rating in three victories this past week, is tied for fourth in the league scoring race with 97 points in 60 games. Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart, No. 4 on Central Scouting's midterm list, also has 97 points in 56 games.

Draisaitl, chosen No. 2 in the 2012 CHL Import Draft by Prince Albert, has 56 goals and 155 points in 124 career regular-season contests spanning two seasons.

"All season long, he's continued to develop as a prospect," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "You noticed him all the time last year and he's gone out there and become a dominant player for Prince Albert this year. We like him as a top-five pick."

Draisaitl was a pleasant surprise as a rookie in 2012-13 when he connected for 21 goals and 58 points in 64 games. He also finished with a team-best plus-22 rating. The 6-foot-1.75, 208-pound Draisaitl has represented his native Germany in the past two IIHF World Junior Championship events.

"Leon has been unbelievable," Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan told "You want to talk about a mini Jaromir Jagr, you've got him right here."

Draisaitl had two goals and two assists in a 9-2 win against the Moose Jaw Warriors on March 4. Three days later, he had another two goals and two assists in a 5-2 win against the Calgary Hitmen. He closed out the week on Saturday with the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win against the Brandon Wheat Kings.

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