NHL Mock Draft 2018: Buffalo Sabres select Rasmus Dahlin with No. 1 pick

The Sabres make the pick that everyone expects and finally gets that franchise cornerstone defenseman

It’s time for the SB Nation 2018 NHL Mock Draft to get underway. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to kick things off. So without further ado...

With the first pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft the Buffalo Sabres select defenseman from the Frolunda Indians of the SHL, Rasmus Dahlin.

Not a lot of suspense this year in the first round for the Sabres. They finally got the ping pong balls to bounce their way and have the luxury of selecting first overall. The luck continues this time around as one of the best defense prospects to come out in a very long time happens to be the unquestioned top pick in the draft.

It’s not just that Dahlin is very good in his own end of the ice, but he has incredible offensive upside. His stickhandling, playmaking and scoring talent even have some people saying he would still go first overall as a forward.

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He’s an excellent skater and is very shifty with the puck on his stick for a 6’2” defender. It’s easy to see why he’s drawing comparisons to Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Dahlin is really the full package and exactly what the Sabres have been looking for to anchor their blue line for the next 10 years. He’ll slot right into the opening night lineup next season and start to form a pretty good young core with Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, and Casey Mittelstadt.

Things appear to be (hopefully) starting to turn around the for the Sabres. A fan base that has gone through a lot of disappointment the past few years finally has something to get really excited about besides Eichel.

The Carolina Hurricanes are up next on the clock. Make sure you follow along to the full SB Nation NHL Mock Draft right here.