By John Vogl
Position: Left wing
Junior team: Quebec (QMJHL)
Born: New Haven, Conn.
Measurables: 6-foot, 210 pounds
2012-13 stats: 68 games, 28 goals, 44 assists, 72 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 26 (North America)
Lowdown: Erne looks like a power forward with his stocky frame, but that impression lasts only until he hits the ice. Then he’s a speed demon who likes to play a fast game and has the wheels to do so. His skating ability helps him win races to the puck, and his size allows him to keep it. Erne has a strong shot and deft passing ability.
The well-traveled winger has played in Connecticut, California, Indiana and Quebec, and he feels as if the moves have helped him mature faster. He’s not afraid to let loose with practical jokes, though. Remparts teammate Kurt Etchegary once reached for a towel following a shower and soon discovered Erne had covered it with baby powder.
The linemate of Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko needs to become more consistent. Though there have been questions about his conditioning, he excelled in the endurance bike test at the NHL Scouting Combine.
They said it: "Erne’s a highly competitive kid. He’s got real good speed. He’s really thick. At times, he’s very explosive. Every once in a while you won’t notice him in a game, but most of the times he’s a goal scorer. … He’s a first-round player, for sure.” – Kevin Devine, Sabres director of amateur scouting.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.