Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |#26 - JAKE DeBRUSK
Left Wing, Swift Current (WHL)
6-foot-0”, 178 lbs.
Son of former NHL enforcer Louie, DeBrusk plays the same position as his father, but with an altogether different style, as the young winger emerged as a marquee offensive producer in his draft year with a team-high 42 goals and 81 points.
He was involved in 36 percent of the Broncos goals while recording just two fighting majors and 40 total penalty minutes.
DeBrusk has the always helpful NHL bloodlines and he plays a proficient two-way game with energy and passion. But his greatest selling points are his offensive intelligence and sense to be in the right spot at the right time.
He crashes the crease, finds space to get his stick down and capitalizes on his natural goal-scoring instincts. The tenacious motor guided him to 26 even-strength markers, which led all first-year draft eligible players in the WHL.
DeBrusk is not considered a defensive mastermind by any means, nor is he a physically imposing presence. He simply makes an impact via hard work and determination. He enjoys mucking it up down low and shows a keen understanding of his role when he doesn’t have the puck.
A late 1996 birth date, DeBrusk is expected to play one more season in Swift Current, where he’ll be expected to again fill the net at a high rate before continuing his development at the AHL level.
He’ll need to add roughly 15 pounds of mass like so many in his age group, but you can’t teach what DeBrusk brings to the rink, making him a wildcard prospect that can see him selected much earlier than some projections.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.