The Buffalo Sabres made Owen Power the first pick of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the third time in franchise history they have had the top pick in the draft. Flanked by extended family at his aunt’s home in Missisauga, ON, the 18-year-old was excited for the occasion as he indicated in the video call a bit later.
“I think it’s pretty special, just being able to have a whole bunch of my family behind me and trying to celebrate with me. I think it was pretty special and even better than the way I thought it was going to turn out.”
In this century, defenseman Erik Johnson was the only #1 pick to not play at the NHL level the first season after being drafted. Power, who will be a sophomore at University of Michigan next season, said that he has not spoken to the Sabres yet about where he will play.
“I think I can step in and play, so I don’t think the decision will be whether I’m ready to play. It’s whether or not it’s better for my development. At the end of the day, I don’t really think there’s a bad option.
“Like I said, it’s something we’ve got to figure out later.”
The teenager even said that he did not know for certain Buffalo would select him as their top pick.
On his new teammate Rasmus Dahlin -
“He’s a really talented player and he’s still young and has so much room to grow still. He already is a special player and he’s just going to keep getting better.”
However he only has eyes for one NHL dman when he watches hockey -
“Victor Hedman’s probably my favorite guy to watch. I think he’s the best defenseman in the NHL right now.”
Power starred for Canada in the World Championships this spring with injuries giving him an opportunity to show he could play at that level, and his confidence level remains high.
“I’m a two-way defenseman that can play in any situation. I can play power play, penalty kill, last minute of the game.”
Looks like the Sabres are going to have to make a big decision during training camp.