BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Defenseman Owen Power officially became a Buffalo Sabre on Friday night after months of anticipation. He had spoken with Kevyn Adams and the Sabres prior to the draft, but hadn't been told he would definitely join Buffalo.
"I didn't know until they called my name," Power said. "I was kind of hoping. They've got a lot of young prospects and a bright future, so I'm excited for what's to come."
One of the biggest names in the Sabres organization plays the same position as Power. He was also taken at the same draft position just three years earlier. Rasmus Dahlin and Power might not share the ice much, but the latter is excited to join him on the left side.
"He's a really talented player and he's still young and has so much room to grow still," Power said. "He already is a special player and he's just going to keep getting better."
Between Dahlin and Power, the Sabres could mold two blue-chip defensemen who could occupy 45-50 minutes of total ice time every night. Look no further than the Tampa Bay Lightning to see how loading up one side of the blue line can work if it's done correctly.
Power watches one particular Lightning player more than anyone else in the NHL, though. It's someone that he's been compared to by both his college coach at Michigan and national analysts.
"Victor Hedman's probably my favorite guy to watch. I think he's the best defenseman in the NHL right now," Power said.
TSN's Craig Button told 7 Eyewitness News in June that Power can't have immediate Hedman-level impact. Button also said that Power could benefit from more time from school. But the Michigan Wolverine doesn't necessarily think it's a necessity.
"I haven't talked to abybody from the Buffalo organization about it," Power said. "I think I can step in and play. So I don't think the decision will be whether or not I'm ready to play, but it's a matter of what's best for my development."
Power had 3 goals, 13 assists, and a +20 rating for Michigan this winter. He also won a gold medal at the IIHF World Championship in the summer. And in the near future, he'll trade in the maize and blue for blue and gold.