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Road to the NHL Draft: Curtis Lazar

By John Vogl

Curtis Lazar

Position: Forward

Junior team: Edmonton (WHL)

Born: Salmon Arm, British Columbia

Measurables: 6-foot, 190 pounds

2012-13 stats: 72 games, 38 goals, 23 assists, 61 points

Central Scouting rank: No. 20 (North America)

Lowdown: Lazar blew past Steven Stamkos. He left Sidney Crosby behind. That has a tendency to draw attention. The looks at Lazar began at the 2011 Canada Games, a biennial event that is the country’s largest competition for young athletes. Lazar led British Columbia to the gold, scoring 12 goals to break Stamkos’ record and 17 points to eclipse Crosby’s mark in only six games.

The Oil Kings’ assistant captain combines a hard-working mentality with offensive ability. A former teammate of Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk, Lazar led Edmonton with eight goals and 19 points in 20 playoff games en route to the Western Hockey League title in 2011-12. The speedy forward continued the goal scoring this season, pacing the team with 38. Lazar scored nine times in 22 playoff games but added just two assists.

Lazar doesn’t have the dazzling creativity many would like and has been knocked for taking the safe play. That is good decision-making for the NHL level, but scouts hope for a higher showing of skill at the junior level.

They said it: "He had a dry spell for a while, but when he was on he was around the puck and creating stuff all game. He can certainly take advantage of his opportunities. He's got real good puck-handling ability, is a smart offensive guy and skates well.” – Chris Edwards of NHL Central Scouting.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.

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NHL Entry Draft
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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