Likely first overall pick, Owen Power “leaning” towards staying in college

owen power
Owen Power likely to go first overall (University of Michigan)

Owen Power is likely to go first overall at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft based on Central Scouting’s rankings. The 6-6, 213 lbs blue-liner notched 16 points as a rookie with Michigan in the NCAA.

Owen Power likely to go first overall

“I think any kid that plays hockey also wants to go No. 1 if they can, so everyone dreams about it,” Power said via NHL.com. “Obviously it’d be a huge honor to me and my family, and we’d be really excited, but at the end of the day that’s also something I can’t really control.”

Power is a huge defenseman that can play both ends of the ice extremely well, but is he a clear cut choice for first overall? Dan Marr of Central Scouting thinks so.

“Owen Power is at the top of this draft class as he is the best at his position,” Central Scouting Director Dan Marr said. “His game presence displayed NHL skills and attributes and his game continued to mature and impact throughout the season.”

NHL.com

Center, Mason McTavish and winger, William Eklund may beg to differ. Marr ranks McTavish at two for North American skaters while Goran Stubb places Eklund at one for Europeans. Earlier this season, Matthew Beniers was another centerman that had some thinking first overall too. However, this has been a difficult season in ranking prospects due to the inability to travel and being forced to judge many players via video.

Power leaning towards returning to college

buffalo sabres
Mar 31, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) and defenseman Colin Miller (33) celebrate with goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres won the Draft Lottery and will select first overall. Owen Power was interviewed on NHL Network today and gave some insights towards his plans for next season.

“I think right now I’m probably leaning more toward going back to school,” the 18-year-old defenseman told “NHL Now” on Friday. “It’s something I’d like to do, trying to get the true experience of playing college hockey. At the end of the day, it obviously depends on what the team wants and what everyone around me thinks is best. I don’t think there’s really a bad option, but I’d say I’m leaning a bit more toward going back to school right now.”

NHL.com

The question now is will that impact the Buffalo Sabres from selecting him in July at the Draft. Normally, first overall selection jump immediately to the NHL. The last first overall pick to not play in the league was defenseman Erik Johnson in 2006. He also stayed one more year in college after being selected by the St. Louis Blues.

Buffalo will likely take the Power regardless. He’s widely considered the consensus choice for first overall and that’s unlikely to change with this decision.