Owen Power from Mississauga the favourite to be picked first in NHL draft

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Published July 23, 2021 at 4:54 pm

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If the experts are right, the Buffalo Sabres will select Mississauga’s Owen Power with the first pick in the NHL entry draft tonight.

Power, a 6-foot-6 defenceman, is fresh off a strong season with the University of Michigan hockey club and also led Canada to the IIHF World Championship this past winter where his performance in the finale earned him player-of-the-game honours.

A product of the Mississauga Reps of the GTHL, the 18-year-old Power is at the top of the list of amateur prospects from North America, according to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau where his size, poise, skating ability and hockey smarts put him ahead of the pack.

“Owen is sort of a marquee player that most people talk about and project No. 1, and I think the reason being is he’s just a complete package,” Michigan head coach Mel Pearson said. “There might not be any one thing he does that’s exceptional, but he does everything very, very well.  

Still, as the clock counts down to 8 p.m. when tonight’s draft starts, sport pundits in Buffalo believe the Sabres still have not made up their mind about who they will select as the top pick.

Some say that Power’s teammates at Michigan, centers Kent Johnson and Matthew Beniers could also be the targets, but the greatest challenge could be from William Eklund, a forward from the Swedish Hockey League who is ranked as the top international prospect and could provide the Sabres with the scoring punch the team desires.

If Power is the top pick, he won’t be the first from Mississauga to claim the honour. John Tavares, now of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was born in Mississauga and was the top pick by the New York Islanders in 2009.

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