Owen Power’s first full season with the Buffalo Sabres is upon us and fans have anticipated this era since Kevyn Adams drafted him in July 2021.
Despite putting on a good showing with the Buffalo Sabres in his eight-game cameo in April 2022, Owen Power will have a lot of growing up to do in his first NHL season. Not from a maturity standpoint, but from an NHL standpoint.
At every level Power played hockey in the past, he was the bigger, faster, more skilled kid. And those traits translated into him becoming the number one pick at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. But in the NHL, just like any professional sport, every notable player he will compete against possesses those same traits.
Every NHL team, good and bad, has at least one or two players capable of making life tough for the defenseman. Fortunately for Power, he won’t be asked to be the face of the defensive rotation, as 2022 All-Star Rasmus Dahlin will take that gig.
Owen Power’s development in 2022-23 will help spearhead the Buffalo Sabres success, but it won’t hinge entirely on it.
The Sabres are a young NHL team with a promising core of talent who can remain familiar faces in the Queen City for the next five to seven seasons. Besides Power, Dahlin is one of those names, as is his projected partner on the top pairing, Mattias Samuelsson.
Center Tage Thompson already signed his extension while line mate Alex Tuch has a lengthy contract carried over from his days in Vegas. Peyton Krebs, Dylan Cozens, Rasmus Asplund, Jack Quinn, and J.J. Peterka are other names that stand out.
This will prevent Power, plus fellow rookies Jack Quinn and J.J. Peterka, from feeling the pressure to carry the team on their shoulders. The Sabres aren’t building around him during the early stages of his career. Instead, they are building around a core of young players that Power, Quinn, and Peterka will join in 2022-23.
Now, if Power develops faster than expected, look for the Sabres to accumulate a few more wins. The same holds true for Quinn and Peterka. But if it takes Power longer to acclimate himself to the NHL landscape, it won’t necessarily throw the Sabres back into the doldrums.
Overall, if the entire nucleus develops faster than expected, look for the Sabres to perhaps enjoy a 90-plus-point season. Even if Power’s development stagnates. Not saying that it will after his initial promising returns, but every player, especially rookies, will hit rough patches.
Article Source: NHL BURNING QUESTIONS: BUFFALO SABRES by Adam Proteau