The Buffalo Sabres chose University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power on Friday with the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft.
The 6-6, 213-pounder, who has drawn comparisons to Victor Hedman, was named to the Big Ten all-rookie team after scoring 16 points in 26 games last season.
The Sabres also chose a defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, when they last held the No. 1 overall pick in 2018. He’s the third college hockey player to be chosen first.
Power, who was defenseman of the year in the United States Hockey League in 2019-20, plays a two-way game, and Central Scouting praises his size and skating.
“His hockey sense is intuitive and instinctive,” his scouting report says. “A very fluid and agile skater who can transition quickly on plays and separate himself from checking.”
Power has debated returning to Michigan for another season because he missed the experience of playing in front of fans in Yost Arena. He also would like to play for Canada in the world junior championships.
But he says he’s not committed to returning to school, and helping Canada win a gold medal at the world championships gave him an idea of how he’d fare against professional hockey players.
He says Hedman is his favorite NHL player, and he tries to model his game after the Tampa Bay Lightning star.
“I think we’ve got similar attributes with our size and our skating,” Power said. “I mean how good he is defensively in closing gaps and killing plays. It’s a side I really watch and try to put in my game, and obviously he’s really good offensively and on the power play.”