2014 NHL Draft Prospect #4: Leon Draisatl
Our next prospect is playmaking forward Leon Draisatl, a German born player currently plying his trade with the Prince Albert Raiders in the Dub.
Team: Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
Date of Birth: October 27, 1995
Place of Birth: Cologne, Germany
Height/Weight 6' 1" / 209
A German born forward, Draisatl was selected by Prince Albert as the second overall selection in the CHL import draft two years ago. Since then, he's shown impressive vision and 'puck sense', developing a reputation as a gifted playmaker. Despite his size and frame, there's been some grumblings that he doesn't get physical enough. It seems like that's something that can be balanced out as he develops, though, particularly with the right coaching. He's also been honest about needing to improve the defensive side of his game, but again, I think that will come along, particularly with some good influences around him.
The only major red flag that comes up when you look into Draisatl is that he was ejected from this year's World Juniors because of a nasty hit from behind - kind of out of character for a guy who was criticized for not having enough of a physical edge. Germany was in the midst of getting their heads handed to them by team USA, and it seems like he lost his cool. That's something he'll need to be careful with going forward.
Draisaitl is an intelligent playmaking forward with good offensive instincts. The German import is effective in puck possession using his lengthy frame to shield away defenders and maintain puck control. He displays top-end vision and can read the play ahead of his peers. -MyNHLDraft.com
As good as he is now, a few more improvements in his skating, a little more physicality and this guy could be close to unstoppable. Top five in my books but a team betting on those improvements could take him much higher. -The Hockey Writers
A Good Fit In Columbus?
Well, y'know, it worked out pretty well the last time we took a late blooming playmaker out of the Dub, but I doubt that he'll still be on the board when Columbus' first round pick comes along. It's a shame, because this guy has "top six monster" written all over him - even if I don't entirely buy the line about him being "the German Gretzky", I certainly think he's shown that he has the vision and hands to be a very effective NHL player.
Draisatl In Action: