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Sabres Top 20 Talents in 2016: No. 15 - D Brendan Guhle

Sabres Top 20 Talents in 2016: No. 15 - D Brendan Guhle
Posted at 3:33 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 19:07:10-04

This week the Buffalo Sabres will hit the ice at HARBORCENTER for training camp. Heading into this year it’s playoffs or bust for most fans, but is the roster talented enough for the Sabres to end its five year playoff drought?

As the season draws near, 7ABC will take a closer look at the training camp roster and put together our list of the “Top 20 Talents.”

Here’s the criteria on how the rankings will be established:

-Overall skill level

-Past performance

-Age, improving/declining ability

-Potential

On to the countdown:
 

No. 15 – D Brendan Guhle

Why he's here

Brendan Guhle was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round in 2015. The organization drafted some guy named Jack Eichel earlier in the draft, who seemed to take some attention away from the Canadian born defenseman. Guhle came to 2015 development camp and immediately made his presence felt. That impact continued until Guhle was hurt during the preseason after taking a nasty hit. Guhle then played 63 games with the Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League. Following his season in juniors, the 19-year-old finished the year in Rochester, playing in six games and tallying four points.

2016 Outlook

The jump to the National Hockey League for a 19-year-old defenseman might be a little unrealistic, but Guhle has talent. This year Guhle looks bigger and stronger than he did last season and more responsible in his own end. While the improvements are noticeable, another year in juniors could do a lot for the development of Guhle -- but his fate won’t be determined until training camp is over.

My prediction

I think Guhle will have another impressive training camp, get a nine-game tryout with the Sabres, and then spend the year in Prince Albert -- and there's nothing wrong with that. During the first game of the Sabres Prospects Challenge Guhle at times looked incredible. At others times, Guhle had me scratching my head. At one point Guhle flew into the offensive zone and joined a two on one, just missing an open net. In the second period Guhle joined the rush once again, but got caught and it led to an odd-man rush for the Devils going the other way. There’s no problem with joining the rush, especially for an offensive defenseman – it just has to be at the right times. The first rush Guhle joined he had support behind him giving him the green light. The second rush Guhle went against three Devils defenders. That’s a play he probably wouldn’t make with a little more experience. Fellow prospect Nick Baptiste said he learned a lot playing in Rochester and he’s a better player because of it. The Sabres and Guhle should approach a year with Prince Albert the same way.

No. 20 – D Casey Nelson
No. 19 – D Josh Gorges
No. 18 – LW Marcus Foligno
No. 17 – G Robin Lehner
No. 16 – C Johan Larsson

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