A product of the Hamilton Reps AAA hockey program, Drew Schiestel was taken in the third round (59th overall) of the 2005 OHL draft. Schiestel (rhymes with pistol) was a surprise second round pick by the Sabres in the 2007 NHL amateur draft. Ranked much lower than 59th by almost every scouting agency, Schiestel’s draft status would have plummeted if not for his excellent showing in the OHL playoffs. Against Sudbury, Schiestel assisted on all four Mississauga goals in their 4-3 win. He tallied two assists in the other four playoff games and finished the series +3, a considerable upgrade from scoring 21 points in 66 games during the regular season.
2006-07: In 66 games with the Mississauga IceDogs (OHL), Schiestel netted six goals and 21 points.
2007-08: In his first season with the Niagara IceDogs (OHL), the defenseman netted eight goals and 37 points, career-highs for Schiestel. 10 additional playoff games resulted in seven more points (1g+6a) to his total.
2008-09: One of the clubs top D-men, Schiestel manned the blue-line for another season with the Niagara IceDogs (OHL). In 63 appearances, he potted 10 goals and a career-high 48 points. He also tallied a career-high 75 minutes in the penalty box. He continued to show his effectiveness in the postseason, scoring a pair of goals and eight points in 12 games. Expect to see him with Buffalo’s affiliate, Portland (AHL), next season.
2009-10: Schiestel spent his first pro season with Portland (AHL) and scored 1 goal with 11 assists in 52 games. He finished with a +5 plus/minus and accumulated 19 PMs. In four playoff contests with the Pirates he was scoreless and -1 with no PMs.
2010-11: Schiestel was one of the AHL Portland Pirates' top players during the first half of the season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in late January. In 45 games with Portland, he had 5 goals with 18 assists and was a +15 plus/minus while accumulating 32 PMs.
2011-12: Schiestel was caught in a numbers game with Buffalo's AHL affiliate Rochester and spent some of his third pro season on loan to the Texas Stars. In 43 games with Rochester he scored 2 goals with 10 assists and was minus-three with 12 penalty minutes. Schiestel played 16 games for Dallas' AHL affiliate Texas and was an even plus/minus with 5 assists and 8 penalty minutes. He was re-signed by Buffalo to a one-year two-way contract in July, 2012.
Schiestel is a two-way defenseman who can really jump up into the play. He has a good stick, using his reach to stop opposition forwards, and could stand to play a little more physical. He still has the tools to be a second-pairing defenseman one day, but injuries have set him back.
Schiestel was loaned to the Texas Stars thru the end of the 2011-12 season, but the Sabres felt confident enough in Schiestel to bring him back for one more year. This could be Schiestel’s last season in Rochester.