Former first-overall pick paces Tier II in the Top 24 and under Sabres of 2024

One player dramatically disappointed a contingent of Sabres fans in 2023-24, but they nonetheless achieved and deserved a top-five ranking.
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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5: Owen Power, D/Sabres

Did Owen Power struggle through a so-called sophomore slump? Put it this way: He didn’t improve the way everyone expected him to, but Power also didn’t play so poorly that he took a nosedive in his second full season. 

He had 33 points and six goals in 76 games, became far more physical this season, blocked 115 shots on net, was on the ice for more goals for than against at 5-on-5 and even strength, and his on-ice shooting percentage increased in the latter. You can’t say the same for on-ice save percentage, but Power’s play didn’t dip the way some thought, and he was still one of the team’s better players. 

It’s true that he needed to make a sound leap from Year 1 to Year 2, but that didn’t occur, so you can argue his season, overall, wasn’t the most successful one. But at this point, there is no reason to worry about Power. 

Now, if his play dropped to the point where he lost a considerable amount of ice time and found himself stuck playing third-pairing minutes, you can be concerned. And if his play doesn’t see more improvement next season, that’s also your cue, but for now, Power is and should be fine. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)