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2018 NHL Draft: Buffalo Sabres Pick Rasmus Dahlin

Sabres use first overall pick on Swedish defenseman

2018 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Welcome to the Buffalo Sabres, Rasmus Dahlin.

As expected, the Sabres selected the Swedish defenseman with the first overall pick in Friday’s 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas, TX.

Dahlin, regarded by many as the ‘most promising young defenseman in a generation’, will join fellow former first-round picks Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen in Buffalo.

The 18-year-old was ranked number one heading into the draft by all outlets including NHL Central Scouting, TSN and Future Considerations.

Per Elite Prospects:

”Dahlin is a smart two-way defenseman who can play in any situation. He is a terrific skater and stick handler who can rush the puck, or join the attack in a hurry. Impressive agility makes him a good one-on-one defender. He has fine passing ability, and although not a big-time bomber, he has an accurate shot from the point.

“Not one to shy away from the physical game, Dahlin is an accomplished open-ice hitter. A young player, he must learn when to make the simpler play. Adding more weight should help him in board battles and around the crease.”

According to TSN’s Ray Ferraro, Dahlin ‘defends like [Nicklas] Lidstrom, skates like [Erik] Karlsson.’

Dahlin spent this past season with Frolunda HC of the SHL, where he appeared in 41 games. He accrued 20 points and 20 penalty minutes and finished the regular season a plus-4.

There is a slight twinge of concern around Dahlin over hereditary arthritis, with his mother and sister suffering from it and his brother retiring from hockey at the age of 20 due to it as well. However it appears multiple teams have put him through the gamut of medical tests and are not concerned about any long term risks.

The teenager, of course, has already had a taste of the Buffalo experience. He was here for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships, where he appeared in seven games for Sweden. Most recently, he impressed at the NHL Combine.

Fans in Buffalo can likely get another chance to watch Dahlin at the upcoming development camp, being held at HARBORCENTER from June 27-30.

Here’s the schedule for that camp:

Wednesday, June 27
Session 1: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Session 2: 4 to 5 p.m.

Thursday, June 28
Session 1: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Session 2: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Friday, June 29
Session 1: 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.
Session 2: 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Saturday, June 30
French Connection Tournament: 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Ticketed admission for season-ticket holders only*