Ever since defenseman Owen Power was selected by the Buffalo Sabres, there has been a discussion whether or not Buffalo should let him play if he decides not go back to school. In this article, I’m going to tell you why the Sabres shouldn’t rush Power.
As of the last few weeks, Buffalo’s first overall pick from this years draft has not made a decision on whether or not he would go back to school. However, that all changed today. As you can see in the tweet below, John Warrow of the Associated Press tweeted out that Power has gone from possibly going back to school to most likely returning to Michigan. If he does indeed decide to go back to college, I am completely okay with it and I’ll tell you why.
OK, incremental #Sabres news not involving Jack Eichel:
No. 1 draft pick Owen Power has gone from "leaning" toward returning to Michigan for his sophomore season to "most likely" returning to school this fall.
— John Wawrow (@john_wawrow) August 11, 2021
Letting Him Develop
This shouldn't be of any concern, as #Sabres were fully aware and accepting of this possibility.
A little more development, and chance to compete at World Jrs. and NCAA Tournament would be beneficial to Power.
— John Wawrow (@john_wawrow) August 11, 2021
Warrow nailed the tweet above. Let’s say if Power does decide he wants to go back to school, then he can develop more. Keep in mind, he’s only 18 years old. Yes, I know defenseman Rasmus Dahlin played right away but him and Power are different. Dahlin is a generational player while Power is a good defenseman, but in my opinion he’s not a generational player as of now. That could obviously change in a couple of years but I wouldn’t consider Power to be a player who could play at the beginning of this season.
Another reason why I think the Sabres shouldn’t rush Owen is because during the last decade, this team has a history of drafting players and throwing them into the fire. The latest example is Casey Mittelstadt. Casey was Buffalo’s first round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. Yes, he was one of Buffalo’s best players towards the end of last season but before last year, Mittelstadt wasn’t a factor. He’s shown some signs of being a good player but he wasn’t noticeable. Another example is Alex Nylander. Nylander was selected in 2016 and was going back and forth between Buffalo and the Rochester Americans, Buffalo’s AHL affiliate. He got traded to the Chicago Blackhawks but it was another failed experiment. It’s about developing and not throwing a player into the fire and that’s what I don’t want Owen Power to experience.
The Current State of the Team
My last reason is because of where the team is. It seems like Buffalo is doing another rebuild. Yes, you can say the last rebuild failed and it did. However, some players from the latest rebuild are gone. Both Rasmus Ristolainen and Sam Reinhart were traded, while captain Jack Eichel will most likely be gone before the season. General manager Kevyn Adams has a lot going on right now but he has some young talented players on his team. It looks like the next couple of years will be rough and that’s why Power shouldn’t be on the team. I don’t see Buffalo competing this year or the next few and that’s why they shouldn’t rush him. Let him develop more and get stronger. It’s all about development and they shouldn’t feel the need to have Power up here at the start of the year.
With all of this being said, these are all of my reasons why the Sabres shouldn’t rush Owen Power. Now, should they see what he does in the preseason if anything changes and he decides to play? Absolutely. But if he indeed does decide to go back to school, then that’s okay. What I’m trying to say Sabres fans is don’t be upset if he goes back. The big word in this article is “development” and letting him develop in college is a good thing for both Buffalo and Power. We’ll see what happens but I am completely okay with Owen not playing in the NHL right away.
(Featured image credit to The Hockey Writers).
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