BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — When the Buffalo Sabres take on the Toronto Maple Leafs next Tuesday, their roster could include 1st overall pick Owen Power.
"It's a proud day for our Organization. We certainly believe in Owen and his abilities both on and off the ice," General Manager Kevyn Adams said Friday afternoon. "He's a phenomenal person. We're excited to have him join this group and come in and be himself."
Adams, speaking to reporters shortly after the team signed Power to his entry-level contract, says he's "likely" to make his debut next Tuesday. Power will join the team Saturday morning in Tampa Bay, and possibly skate on Sunday morning.
"I think it'll be good for him to get on the ice, be around the guys, and be ready to go," Adams said. "We're excited. I hope we see a lot of Owen Power fans in Canada."
Shortly after Power was drafted, he announced his intentions to play another year with Michigan following a freshman season that was altered due to COVID-19. In 33 games with the Wolverines this past season, he finished with three goals and 29 assists. The Wolverines were eliminated from the Frozen Four Thursday night.
"He played huge minutes on a top team in the country, got the chance to go to World Juniors, and got a chance to go to the Olympics," Adams said. "When you add it all up, it was a great development year for him. He's still a young player and we want to help him get better and better and help him find success."
Power will become the 6th player on the current roster under the age of 22. He'll bring more physicality to a team that's been playing pretty well as of late, recording a 6-2-3 record in their last 11 games. While fans may be eager to see Power finally wear a Sabres uniform, Adams says they're not putting any pressure on him.
"We want to set Owen up for success. We want to put him in a position he feels comfortable," Adams said. "It's an important time for him to feel the league, see what it's all about. A number of players on our team have connected with me and are saying how excited they are to have him coming."
While Power has signed his contract, the Sabres have also had conversations with two other prospects; Erik Portillo, a 2019 3rd-round pick who recently played with Michigan, and Ryan Johnson, a 2019 1st-round pick who recently played with Minnesota. Adams added they'll continue to keep up those conversations over the next few days.