There was plenty of hype surrounding Swedish defenseman prospect Rasmus Dahlin going into the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He was a clear-cut number one pick as he was one of the highest regarded prospects to come out of the draft in numerous years. The Buffalo Sabres won the draft lottery going into that draft and won the Rasmus Dahlin sweepstakes. He has shown promise and potential in his time so far in Buffalo, but now at only 21-years-old, it is time for him to take over as the number one defenseman in Buffalo.
Dahlin is entering the final year of his current contract, and it would be in the Sabres’ best interest to lock up a contract extension for Dahlin. If he were to ever hit free agency he would be a top target for many teams around the league. And as we have seen, Buffalo struggles to retain top-tier free agents. It would be a welcome sight for Sabres fans to see them hold onto some quality young talent for once.
And with the Sabres losing Jake McCabe to free agency and trading Rasmus Ristolainen this offseason, Buffalo is lacking in the defenseman department. But drafting top prospect Owen Power will help the depth, but he may not be ready to make the jump right to the NHL at this moment. So we could be a year removed from seeing Power in the blue and gold still.
Dahlin got off to a slow start last season under Ralph Krueger, much like the entire team. But once Don Granato took over the head coaching duties, we saw glimpses of the Dahlin we expected to see on a regular basis after the Sabres drafted him. Now Dahlin will need to be that guy every game as he will likely be the number one defenseman in Buffalo this year.