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Road to the NHL Draft: J.T. Compher

By John Vogl

J.T. Compher

Position: Left wing

Junior team: U.S. Under-18 (USHL)

Born: Northbrook, Ill.

Measurables: 6-foot, 165 pounds

2012-13 stats: 49 games, 15 goals, 27 assists, 42 points

Central Scouting rank: No. 34

Lowdown: Compher is the ultimate agitator. His way with words will quickly get under an opponent’s skin. Then, with the game on the line, he has the skill to back up his comments and produce a victory. He can thrive under pressure, which he showed when he scored the clinching shootout goal against host Russia to reach the gold-medal game at the under-18 world championships.

A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, he’s been competing on an international level for years. Few things scare him. His work ethic makes him a leader. He hates to lose and does what he can to avoid it. Compher is set to play collegiately at Michigan.

He’s not blessed with top-level skating skills. Though he has a penchant for rising to challenges, he’s never shown he can be a prolific scorer. His two-way game is what will carry him.

They said it: "If you take a puck from him, you better skate as hard as you’ve ever skated because he’s tracking you down and going to steal it back immediately. And if he can’t get it back, he’s probably going to whack you or run you into the boards.” – Don Granato, Compher’s coach on the U.S. under-18 team, to the Northbrook (Ill.) Star.

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

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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 |

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 |

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 |