NHL Draft Profile #5: Leon Draisaitl

Welcome back to Top Shelf Hockey Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players.  Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2014 NHL Draft.  Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports!  Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2014 Draft Articles Click here.

The 2nd overall pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, Leon Draisaitl looks to be the highest ever drafted German hockey player. He has put up 38 goals and 67 assists for 105 points in 64 games for Prince Albert this season, averaging more than an assist per game. Draisaitl also impressed at the World Juniors despite playing on an overmatched German squad when he was able to put up six points in six games.  With a late October 1995 birthdate, Draisaitl is one of the older prospects available in the draft.  Blessed with good bloodlines, he is the son of long-time German national team member Peter Draisaitl.

Leon Draisaitl
Center — shoots Left
Born Oct 27 1995 — Cologne, Germany
Height 6.01 — Weight 209 [185 cm/95 kg]

Leon Draisaitl is a big centre with excellent reach and stickhandling ability. He protects the puck very well, especially in the cycle game.  He also has the vision and the passing skill to finds an open teammate with a quick and accurate pass. Draisaitl also has a strong and accurate wrist shot, with a very good release, leading to goal-scoring ability. Draisaitl is not afraid to take the puck to the net, and has the soft hands to finish when he gets there. What is most impressive though is his ability to read the play, and be in the right spot at the right time. Draisaitl has very impressive hockey sense.

Draisaitl has greatly improved his skating since coming to North America and it is no longer a weakness. He seems to be a better skater every time I see him.  He has above-average speed and acceleration.  His balance is extremely good and allows him to fight through checks and he is tough to knock off the puck.  Draisaitl also has good agility which helps him to get by defenders.

Despite his size, Draisaitl is not overall physical.  He uses his body to shield opponents from the puck when cycling and is not afraid to take a hit, or to get in the dirty areas of the ice.  However, he is not known for being a big hitter, or for initiating physical play.  That said he doesn’t shy away from the battles if they come to him.  He has decent faceoff skills and is a solid defensive player for his age.

Draisaitl may need one more year of junior before being ready for the NHL, however, he has a very high ceiling and could be a first-line player in the NHL.  His game, not in talent but in terms of style, is comparable to a Henrik Sedin.

Here are some videos of Leon Draisaitl in action:

Check back tomorrow for my number 6 ranked prospect.


Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter – @lastwordBkerr.  Support LWOS by following us on Twitter – @LastWordOnSport – and “liking” our Facebook page.

Interested in writing for LWOS? We are looking for enthusiastic, talented writers to join our Hockey writing team.  Visit our ”Write for Us“ page for very easy details in how you can get started today!