Buffalo Sabres Top 25 Under 25: #4 Owen Power

Immediate pressure off the #1 pick from the 2021 Draft with a return to college

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of six staff writers and over 485 fans that ranked players under the age of 25 as of August 10, 2021. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player.

Owen Power is an elite defenseman in every sense of the term. His skating ability is even more incredible when you take into consideration his size. Hockey players that size don’t move like he does, and the teenager is still learning how to use that bulk to his advantage.

This was an interesting year for the Buffalo Sabres to have the first pick in the draft, because earlier on it seemed there was no consensus #1 pick, but over the year Power’s consistency meant he separated himself from the rest of the pack to earn the designation. The Sabres need more top-notch offensive firepower right now than defense, but passing on the teenager was not an option really. Having both him and Rasmus Dahlin on the roster will give GM Kevyn Adams a 1A-1B situation that should help eat close to fifty minutes every night with two very good defensive pairings.

Power brings a very high floor to the d-man position - safe with the puck, with a good eye and execution in getting the short passes to transitioning forward that can help relieve pressure within the blueline. The defenseman isn’t necessarily the offensive threat that Dahlin is, but has a powerful enough shot that can cause trouble from the point.

While he didn’t blow it up last season on the stat sheet for Michigan, he’s started the current season off on fire, picking up a goal and four assists in just two games so far, with his team already up to third in the rankings in the early going and looking a sure bet for a high seed in the tournament this year.

Adams didn’t overthink the first pick in the 2021 draft and made the smart choice picking Power, and returning him to Michigan was also the right move despite the #1 pick being the first to not go straight to the NHL after being selected first after Erik Johnson in 2006.

There is no need for Power to spend this coming year at Buffalo, a season where this team continues to be in transition and will likely still be awful. Instead the youngster can continue to improve and dominate at the college level and come into the NHL next season better at all facets of the game.

#25 Casey Fitzgerald
#24 Aaron Huglen
#23 Linus Weissbach
#22 Aleksandr Kisakov
#21 Albert Lyckåsen
#20 Erik Portillo
#19 Devon Levi
#18 Matej Pekar
#17 Oskari Laaksonen
#16 Isak Rosen
#15 Jacob Bryson
#14 Ryan Johnson
#13 Mattias Samuelsson
#12 Tage Thompson
#11 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen
#10 JJ Peterka
#9 Jack Quinn
#8 Rasmus Asplund
#7 Arttu Ruotsalainen
#6 Henri Jokiharju
#5 Casey Mittelstadt