Buffalo Sabres sign No. 1 pick Owen Power, may debut next week

owen power sabres
Michigan defenseman Owen Power (22) looks to pass against Michigan State during the third period in the first game of Big Ten quarterfinal at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor on Friday, March 4, 2022.

The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Owen Power, the No. 1 pick of the 2021 NHL Draft, to a three-year entry-level contract on Friday.

Power played college hockey for two seasons at Michigan after being selected first overall. Power’s Wolverines lost to the University of Denver in overtime Thursday in the Frozen Four, ending their season.

Sabres sign No. 1 pick Owen Power

Now Power, 19, can join the Sabres, who are eliminated from playoff contention with 10 regular-season games remaining.

According to GM Kevyn Adams, he could possibly debut next Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs

“We’ll have some conversations over the next two, three days, myself and Owen and the coaching staff, and just make sure that we’re putting him in a position to succeed and also helping him take a breath and just realize that he can just go be himself,” Adams said. “He doesn’t have to feel the weight of the world or anything extra, stress or pressure. He can just go be part of a group and just play. I think it’ll kind of shake itself out, honestly. But I do think it’s an important time for him to just feel the League and see what it’s all about.”

NHL.com

He scored six goals and 48 points over his two seasons at Michigan. He also netted a hat trick for Team Canada at the world juniors held last December, and went on to represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Power’s Michigan teammate, center Kent Johnson, also signed Friday with the team that selected him fifth overall last summer, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Owen Power top pick in 2021

owen power
Michigan defenseman Owen Power (22) looks to shoot the puck against Denver during the third period of the Frozen Four semifinal at TD Garden in Boston on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

The Buffalo Sabres selected 6-foot-6 defenseman Owen Power with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. It was the second time in the past four years the Sabres used the No. 1 pick to select a defenseman. They chose Rasmus Dahlin first overall in 2018.

Power, 19, had just completed his freshman year at the University of Michigan, finishing fourth in scoring among Big Ten defensemen (three goals, 13 assists) and making second-team all-conference.

After his selection, Power surrounded by family and friends beamed with excitement. When asked if being drafted may have helped him decide if he would return back to Michigan or join the Sabres, he opted to just enjoy the moment.

“I know we’re talking about the Number 1 overall pick, and a player that’s clearly capable of stepping right into the NHL,” GM Kevyn Adams said after the draft. “But I think you have to look at the long game even with a player at this level and say, `What is the best for him? How does he continue to get better?’

Power opted for one more year at college and is now ready to join the Sabres.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report.