Much like Power’s stint in Buffalo this season, this report card won’t be overly long. Fortunately for Buffalo Sabres fans, next year’s will likely be filled with a great summary concerning his play if he follows up with a continuation of his game from this year.
Total Season Stats: 8 GP, 2 G, 1A, 3 PTS
Contract Status: Signed through 2023-24, $916,667 AAV
When discussing a grade for Power this season, it’s impossible to do so without looking at his entire year as a whole. Power began this season at the University of Michigan, where he played with a star-studded team including fellow NHL Draft picks such as Luke Hughes, Matty Beniers, Kent Johnson, and Sabres prospect Erik Portillo.
That team did advance to the Frozen Four, college hockey’s premier tournament, and lost to the University of Denver, the eventual champions. Power had a fantastic season with the Wolverines, amassing 32 points in 33 games with a +27 rating, good for second best on the team.
It’s easy to say that Power coasted on this team, but that would show that you just didn’t watch him play. He was sixth on the team in points (2nd among defenseman) and tied for the team lead in assists.
During this season, he also was named to the Canadian World Junior team that unfortunately got cut short due to COVID. He was tied for second on the Canadian roster that went 2-0 during the tournament. The 2022 edition of the World Junior Championships has been rescheduled for August 9th-20th, so we’ll have to see if Power goes back to play or prepares for the Sabres season instead.
After the Wolverines season ended, Power signed his entry level contract on April 8th and began practicing with the team, much to the excitement of everybody in Sabreland. Power debuted against his “hometown” Toronto Maple Leafs on April 12th and logged no points, but a +2 rating. His first point would be an assist 2 days later against the St. Louis Blues, and his first goal would come on the road in New Jersey against the Devils on April 21st.
Over the course of these games, he showed many glimpses of what made him the number one selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, with defensive responsibility paired with a willingness to contribute in the offensive zone. As a comparison, Rasmus Dahlin uses good edgework and creativity to show his offensive capabilities, whereas Power uses high hockey IQ and vision to create offense.
So where does Power stand at the end of his short 2022 season? It’s easy for a pessimist to say we haven’t seen enough of him yet to truly gauge him and that’s a fair point, but after watching his continued dominance at the collegiate level and how well he handled himself in only eight games this season, it’s clear to many Sabres fans that Power will be a mainstay and cement himself in the top four of the defense for years to come. It’s only a matter of time.
Season Grade: A-
Grade Owen Power on his 2021-22 season.
This poll is closed
A - excelled above expectation
B - did better than expectation
C - met expectation
D - did worse than expectation
F - did much worse than expectation