The Buffalo Sabres have won the draft lottery. Does that mean they will take Michigan defenseman Owen Power? Not so fast.
The Sabres have some NTDP coaching alumni in the fold and that could change the course of this draft. If they chose Matty Beniers, also out of Michigan, a terrific center, played for the NTDP, it wouldn’t be a bad pick but that’s not the route I would go. I would take Power because you can’t have enough defense and Rasmus Ristolainen could be gone soon.
“There’s a number of players to watch and look into,” said Sabres GM, Kevyn Adams. “It’s a huge opportunity for our franchise to improve.”
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The Seattle Kraken picking second is the best place to be in this draft. Let the first team take their player, and then see who is on the board. If they can get Power, you make that selection with a big smile on your face.
The Anaheim Ducks will pick third. Still a great place to be. They could get Beniers, Power, or defenseman Brandt Clarke, William Eklund, or Dylan Guenther. Clarke is an offensive defenseman and Eklund is most likely a winger, but he has played some center. Guenther is a winger.
The Columbus Blue Jackets picking fifth is good for them. They need a lot of different things so they should go with the best player on the board.
You feel bad for the Detroit Red Wings picking sixth. They should have at least been first or second. Steve Yzerman has had zero luck and he looked up at the heavens when his number was revealed.
This is an average draft. There may be one or two franchise players. I think the first drop-off is after 10. Then the next is around 14. That’s not to say there aren’t good players there, it just means it will be much harder to find a top-six player at that point. Cleary Dallas Stars GM, Jim Nill, wasn’t thrilled with the 14th pick. His team missed the playoffs, and he knows prospects, so he probably realized the one they were hoping for is no longer possible. His earbuds may never be the same by the way he removed them.
I think one or two teams will trade out of the first round. I’m not sure any of the Top 15 will but if I had to pick a team that might it would be the Philadelphia Flyers who have the 13th overall selection and seem to be after Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman, Seth Jones, who told his team he won’t be signing a new deal with them when it expires after the 2021-22 season.