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No. 1 NHL Draft Pick Owen Power Won’t be Joining Sabres This Season

No. 1 overall draft pick Owen Power has elected to return to Michigan for another season and won’t be joining the NHL or the Buffalo Sabres.

As per multiple sources, Buffalo Sabres No. 1 draft pick Owen Power is returning to the University of Michigan for his sophomore season. The defenseman will not be joining the NHL club and he will not be making his presence felt in the NHL during the 2021-22 season. Instead, Power will be going back to school, and the hope is that another year at Michigan can benefit the 18-year-old defenseman when he does finally make the jump.

Related: Buffalo Sabres Select Owen Power No. 1 Overall in 2021 NHL Draft

There will, of course, be mixed reactions to this news. Some will say it’s the smart thing for Power to do and for the Sabres, it’s not a big deal. Others will suggest that a team has been amongst the worst in the NHL over the past decade never should have drafted a player that likely wasn’t going to make an impact right away as a first-overall selection.

While it was widely known that Power might choose to go back to school, it’s atypical for the first overall pick to forego playing in the NHL if he’s capable. The last to do it was Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson and while it’s worked out for Johnson, most top picks jump right into the NHL, not only because they can, but because of the paycheque associated with doing so.

The Owen Power Decision Debate

The debate on social media is an interesting one to follow. Not everyone is in agreement. Former player Carlo Colaiacovo writes:

“This is not a shot at Owen Power & his decision to go back to Michigan. Not 1 bit. I never went to NCAA so I wouldn’t know the reason behind making this decision. But, if I got drafted 1st overall, to play in the best hockey league in the world, I wouldn’t be going back to school.” Meanwhile, another former player in Marc Methot writes: “The only counter to this is, he gets to go back to a winning culture for another season, grow and gain even more confidence. Or, to go Buffalo and get lit up every night as an 18 year old.”

Tony Ferrari of The Hockey News writes, “One more year at the University of Michigan will be such a big deal when it comes to Owen Power’s development.” He adds, “In my opinion, and I’ve said it all year, this is the best case scenario for Power. I love the move.” At the same time, it’s one more year where Power could get hurt and it’s one more year where he’s potentially too good for the league he’s currently playing in.

What do you think? Is Power making the right decision here?

Owen Power Drafted No 1 by Sabres
Owen Power Drafted No 1 by Sabres

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