The Buffalo Sabres selected Owen Power, a Chicago Steel alum, with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft on Friday.
The 6-foot-5, 214-pound defenseman scored 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 26 games during his freshman season at Michigan. His point total ranked second among Michigan defensemen behind Cameron York, a 2019 first-round pick by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Big Ten named Power to its All-Freshman team.
The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ontario had three assists in 10 games with Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championship in Latvia. He was the No. 1-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting prior to the draft.
Power scored 65 points (23 goals, 42 assists) in 103 regular-season games for the Steel. He had two assists in 11 playoff games from 2018-2020.
“Owen is elite in every way,” Steel head coach Brock Sheahan said. “He has amazing physical tools, high level hockey sense both offensively and defensively, and is internally driven to be the best player he can be.”
Power is the first USHL alum and Steel player to be selected first overall. Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (No. 14 by Dallas Stars in 2011) was previously the highest Steel player taken.
“We’re thrilled for Owen,” Steel general manager Mike Garman said. “He is well-deserving of the first overall pick and is the exact type of player and person you can build a winning franchise around. His size, skill and ability are obvious, but what really separates him is his character and approach. He truly exemplifies what it means to be a Steel, and we’re forever grateful for his two seasons here. This is just the beginning for him, and we’re excited to watch his continued success.”