Especially since the Sabres picked him in the second round of this past draft, Lemieux has been inundated with the question of whether he emulates his father.
That would not be an entirely bad thing. Claude Lemieux won four Stanley Cups and topped 20 goals nine times with the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche. He had a reputation as one of the dirtiest players in the NHL and was an agitator, but he had a knack for clutch play in the postseason and remains ninth all-time with 80 postseason goals.
"It's definitely in my blood to play that chippy style of game," Lemieux said when asked about his dad during the Sabres' development camp this week. "But he was one of the most hated players ever. Why would I want to be like that?"
What he does want to be like is a player who can find the net while also making sure his presence is known even when he's not scoring. He showed a knack for that in juniors, scoring 27 goals and 26 assists in 65 games last season for the OHL's Barrie Colts while also racking up 165 penalty minutes.
The 18-year-old forward is also carrying a grudge over having not been a first-round pick. He just missed, as he was the first pick in the second round, but he hopes to prove to other teams he has first-round talent:
"I want to be a guy who can be big all the time, but I especially want to be big in the playoffs."
To that end, he's making sure to step up against the Sabres' best prospects during this week's development camp. Those include Sam Reinhart, the man the Sabres picked ahead of Lemieux in the first round:
"I love to be around guys like that and try to be better than them."
Sabres fans will get two more chances this week to see Lemieux during open camp practices Thursday and Friday. He will then begin training camp in September in Buffalo before most likely returning to juniors for one more season.
But until then, he intends to continue showing he has the talent to, in time, stay in Buffalo for good:
"You get yourself set up to be in this position for a long time … When it comes down to it, first-, second-, third-round pick, it doesn't mean much anymore."
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Tags: Brendan Lemieux, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL, Sam Reinhart