The first round of the 2021 NHL Draft kicks off Friday, July 23rd at 8 p.m. ET.
The Buffalo Sabres hold the first overall pick in this year draft. This is the 8th straight year the Sabres will select in the top 10 in the first round. It’s also the 4th time Buffalo will select with the first or second pick in the draft. Among those selections is Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin and Sam Reinhart.
The Sabres have needs riddled throughout their roster. There have been plenty of trade rumors surrounding Eichel and whether or not he’ll be with the franchise long-term is still to be seen. If Eichel is dealt, it makes some sense for the Sabres to select his potential replacement in Michigan C Matthew Beniers, who ranks generally as the second skater among prospect rankings. Buffalo, however, has a ton of center depth and a few young players down the middle in Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, Rasmus Asplund and Reinhart.
The flip side of this debate is on Michigan D Owen Power, who is considered to be the consensus No. 1 overall prospect. He’s a big, old school type of defenseman who doesn’t really have a hole in his game. Power can skate, move the puck and rarely makes mistakes. At 6-foot-5, Power would bring a big shot to the blue line and someone who projects as a top pairing defenseman pretty much his whole career.