Power, 18, was the North American skater ranked No. 1 by the NHL Central Scouting. His selection marks the fourth time in NHL history that an NCAA player has held No. 1 overall, joining forward Joe Murphy (1986, Detroit Red Wings), goalie Rick DiPietro (2000, New York Islanders) and defenseman Erik Johnson (2006, St. Louis Blues).
The 6-foot-6 defenseman is the second defenseman the Sabers have taken in the overall standings in the last four draft, joining 2018 No. 1 pick Rasmus Dahlin. Power is only the third defenseman to be drafted first since 2007.
Power played 26 games for Michigan as a rookie last season, totaling 16 points. A native of Mississauga, Ont., He appeared in 10 games for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships, playing alongside NHL players. His mobility and size have earned him comparisons to Tampa Bay Lightning star Victor Hedman.
“He is coachable. He always wants more information. He never thinks he’s above everything. He just wants more and more so that he can study and get better, and grow up, ”said Ryan Hardy, who was the general manager of USHL Chicago Steel when Power played for them. “When do you have this state of mind with this frame?” It’s Owen Power’s draft. I don’t think a lot of people know how good it is. “
When Power could show up to play for the Sabers has yet to be determined. The defender said ideally he would like to return to Michigan for at least a year after his first season there was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is one of the big reasons I want to go back to school. For the real Michigan college experience, especially Yost [arena] with the fans there and everything. To go to classes and not do everything online. To be able to do things besides going to the rink and then coming home, ”he said.
Michigan was scheduled to set a first-round record in the NHL Draft on Friday night. No NCAA team had ever had three current players taken in the first round.
Wolverines Power teammates, center Matty Beniers and center Kent Johnson were all scheduled to make the first round.