BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 27, 2015) — The Buffalo Sabres followed up a busy first day of the 2015 NHL Draft which saw the team make two trades and one draft selection by retaining all of the team’s second-day picks and selecting five prospects. On the second day of the draft, Buffalo added one forward and four defensemen to their day-one selection of forward Jack Eichel to wrap up the 2015 NHL Draft.
The Sabres began the day by selecting defenseman Brendan Guhle in the second round with the 51st overall pick. A native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Guhle (6’2”, 184 lbs., 7/29/1997) finished his second WHL season with the Prince Albert Raiders in 2014-15 with 32 points (5+27) and 36 penalty minutes in 72 games. The left-handed defenseman recorded 15 of those points in the last 22 games of the season, earning a 20-spot improvement in NHL Central Scouting’s final prospect rankings.
Guhle again improved his draft stock earlier this month at the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine at HARBORCENTER in Buffalo, after logging the best results among all prospects in the long jump and the highest peak power output score on the Wingate bike test. In all, Guhle ranked in the top 10 in seven different categories at the combine, joining Eichel in a tie for most top-10 results.
Buffalo opened the fourth round (92nd overall) with the selection of defenseman William Borgen. A St. Cloud State commit, Borgen (6’1”, 189 lbs., 12/19/1996) tallied 19 points (3+16) in 24 games during his senior season for Moorhead High School (Minn.) before joining the Omaha Lancers (USHL) for 21 games to finish the 2014-15 season.
The Sabres chose yet another defenseman with the team’s next pick, selecting Kelowna (WHL) blueliner Devante Stephens in the fifth round (122nd overall). Stephens (6’1”, 171 lbs., 1/2/1997) made his WHL debut during the 2014-15 season, recording 11 points (4+7) in 64 regular-season games for Rockets. The Surrey, British Columbia native added four assists in 17 playoff games, helping Kelowna to team team’s fourth WHL Championship.
Buffalo’s run of defensemen ended in the sixth round, as the Sabres selected Lethbridge (WHL) center Giorgio Estephan with the 152nd pick in the draft. Estephan (6’0”, 188 lbs., 2/3/1997) ranked third among Hurricanes skaters with 51 points (23+28) in 64 games 2014-15. After being unranked on Central Scouting’s midterm rankings, the Edmonton, Alberta native saw his draft stock soar in the second half of the season after finishing the year with 45 points (22+23) in his final 39 games of the season.
Defenseman Ivan Chukarov of the Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL) rounded out the Sabres’ selections at 182nd overall. A Chicago native, Chukarov (6’2”, 190 lbs., 4/3/1995) recorded 43 points (12+31) in 55 games with Minnesota last season and is committed to the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Buffalo Sabres’ 2015 Draft Class:
Round (Overall) – Player (Pos) / Amateur team
1 (2) – Jack Eichel (C) / Boston University, NCAA-Hockey East
2 (51) – Brendan Guhle (D) / Prince Albert, WHL
4 (92) – William Borgen (D) / Moorhead, Minn. H.S.
5 (122) – Devante Stephens (D) / Kelowna, WHL
6 (152) – Giorgio Estephan (C) / Lethbridge, WHL
7 (182) – Ivan Chukarov (D) / Minnesota, NAHL