Take a moment and ask yourself, when was the last time the Buffalo Sabres had a franchise defenseman? A few names come to mind, but if you put five people in a room and ask this question, you'll get a different answer from almost everybody.
That soon might change.
While nothing is a guarantee, the Sabres appear to be in the perfect position to land their franchise-altering blue-liner at the upcoming NHL Draft.
On Saturday the team and a community full of fed up fans learned the news -- the Sabres have won the draft lottery -- and can select Swedish standout Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 pick in June's draft.
Dahlin is viewed by many as the consensus No. 1 selection and has been for the last year. The 18-year-old defenseman has all the physical traits GM's desire, along with some freakish talent and potential.
"Dahlin is an exceptionally talented prospect who will be able to contribute, influence and impact a team's fortunes much in the way that defensemen Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators) and Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning) have in the NHL," said Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting earlier this month. "If you wanted to pick one player from the 2018 draft who could potentially be viewed as a generational talent, Rasmus would be the only candidate. There is that much respect for him and his abilities."
Not only does Dahlin have oodles of talent, but he fills a need on a team that could desperately use a makeover, especially on the blue line.
Barring a surprise, Dahlin should be in the Sabres lineup next season and will immediately be one of their most talented players. While adding the Swedish sensation won't fix all the Sabres problems, It's certainly a start and a great one at that.