Buffalo Sabres select Canada's Owen Power 1st overall in NHL entry draft
Canada's Owen Power in action during the Ice Hockey World Championship final match between Finland and Canada at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Sunday, June 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
The Buffalo Sabres have picked defenceman Owen Power first overall in the NHL entry draft.
The six-foot-six, 213-pound blueliner from Mississauga, Ont., played at the University of Michigan last season before being selected to Team Canada for the men's world hockey championships in May.
The league's newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken, chose Power's Michigan teammate centre Matthew Beniers with the No. 2 selection.
Mason McTavish, a centre from the Ontario Hockey League's Peterborough Petes, was selected third by the Anaheim Ducks.
The Vancouver Canucks were scheduled to be the first Canadian team on the board but earlier in the day sent the No. 9 pick to the Arizona Coyotes in a blockbuster trade.
The deal gives Arizona the first-round selection while Vancouver acquires defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland. The Coyotes also receive Canucks forwards Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel, plus the club's second-round pick in 2022 and its seventh-round selection in 2023.
The Ottawa Senators will choose 10th, followed by the Calgary Flames (No. 13), the Winnipeg Jets (No. 18), the Edmonton Oilers (No. 20) and the Montreal Canadiens (No. 31).
The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt their first-round selection to the Columbus Blue Jackets in April for forward Nick Foligno and won't pick until midway through the second-round (No. 57 overall) on Saturday.
The draft is being held virtually for the second year in a row.
Scouts, GMs and players have all said this year's draft is difficult to predict as the COVID-19 pandemic limited chances for young athletes to play and be discovered.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021.