Providence College defenseman Jacob Bryson will be the only Buffalo Sabres prospect playing in the Frozen Four this week in Buffalo.
Bryson was selected in the fourth round (99th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft after being passed over in 2016. The London, Ontario native is playing in his third season at Providence and has been one of the better defensemen in Hockey East since being drafted by the Sabres.
Bryson is the prototypical modern day defenseman that every team in the NHL is looking for. Although he doesn't have the size at just 5' 9" and 179-pounds, but he plays a sound two-way game and can help create offense, and is a good skater. Bryson has put up at least 20 points in each of his three seasons in the NCAA, and he set a career high in points this season with 27.
"I would best describe myself as a two-way defenseman," Bryson said on the Howard and Jeremy Show on Tuesday. "I like to be good in the defensive zone, but try and get in the offense as well and join that rush and be that fourth player. I think most importantly I have to be good on defense to create good offense. So I think having a good stick and breaking up plays in the neutral zone and [defensive] zone is important for being able to jump into the play and be the fourth guy in that rush."
Providence head coach Nate Leaman has had some high praise for Bryson throughout the season. He has named Bryson the alternate captain for the past two seasons, and has allowed Bryson to blossom into one of the better defenders in the Hockey East.
"We have a defenseman that I think is just outstanding. Jacob Bryson might be one of the best defensemen if not the best defensemen that I've ever coached," Leaman said.
Leaman has coached in the NCAA since the 2003-2004 season when he started with Union College, and since 2011-2012, he's been the head coach in Providence and has also won a National Championship in 2015. To say that Bryson is the best defenseman that he's coached is very, very high praise.
Bryson is going to be a senior next season if the Sabres don't make a push to sign Bryson to his entry-level contract during this offseason.
Bryson and Providence will face off against Minnesota Duluth on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Key Bank Center. If Providence wins, they'll face the winner of Denver and UMass on Saturday at 8 p.m.
You can listen to Bryson's entire interview below: