As you know, the Buffalo Sabres hold the top pick in the 2021 NHL Draft on July 23rd. I know this isn’t the player that Austin would pick at the top and honestly it wouldn’t be the player I would select.
However, my job is to play the role of the club here and pick who I believe that they will select in a few weeks.
Owen Power has become the consensus top pick in this draft among the mainstream draft pundits and NHL scouts. There has been some noise from people such as Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News that the Sabres are high on William Eklund. He is someone that I considered in this spot, but I went with Power.
I feel as though the Canadian-born defender has been overanalyzed over the last few months. There’s a narrative building that he’s not a good prospect, but that’s simply not true.
Don’t get me wrong, he has a good amount to work on in his game. Particularly in the defensive zone. That’s why it makes sense for the Sabres to send him back to the University of Michigan for one more year to work on his craft. He’ll receive big minutes playing in a tough college hockey conference. Power may have the highest ceiling of any player in this draft, but the Sabres will need to put him on the proper development path to reach that level.
It’s interesting that the Sabres will have the first overall pick twice in four years and select a defenseman at the top each of those years. Those are the cards they were dealt and hopefully, the club can set itself up well on the blue line for the foreseeable future.
The Seattle Kraken are now on the clock.