The Hockey News- Hot List – John Draeger
The Hot List: Shattuck bruiser
Michigan State will be happy when bruising defender John Draeger lands on campus. (Photo courtesy Shattuck St-Mary’s)
Did a little road trip to Amherst, NY, on Friday to catch Shattuck-St. Mary’s for the first time. The Sabres’ under-18 squad was playing in the U.S. national championship and ended up winning it all thanks to a 2-1 victory over the L.A. Jr. Kings. Elsewhere, the Frozen Four is about to pop off and Sarnia found out the hard way that a dynasty can’t be built overnight as the Sting bowed out of the Ontario League playoffs to Saginaw. With all that and more in mind, here’s a look at some of the players we’re excited to see in the NHL one day.
John Draeger, D – Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres (Minn. HS)
The top defenseman on Shattuck, Draeger is a physical blueliner known for his reach and quick feet. He can punish with his 6-foot-2, 186-pound frame, but also showed some nice touch against Milwaukee, scoring on a beautiful penalty shot move.
“I like to be that all-around player,” Draeger said. “Help out the team offensively, defensively…be that guy who shows the younger guys the way and help them out.”
Though Shattuck draws players from around the world, Draeger is from Faribault, the Minnesota home of the prep school. Needless to say, having neighbors such as Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews was a great influence and the dorm experience provided by the school has lived up to expectations.
“It’s great,” Draeger said. “You get to know everybody. You bond with the guys by living together, going to dinner together. You get to be a better team.”
The big blueliner is committed Michigan State, where he’ll reunite with Shattuck alum Tanner Sorenson. And while Chicago’s Duncan Keith was a Spartan, Draeger actually looks up to his partner.
“Brent Seabrook, for sure,” he said. “He’s a big, lanky guy. He’s physical and can bury the puck and I think I play a lot like him.”
No doubt MSU would love for that to come true. Draft eligible in 2012.