Photo of Owen Power, Courtesy of the Buffalo Sabres
Wheeling and Dealing
The Sabres have been busy this week with the NHL Draft and the official start of the off-season. Early in the week the team traded longtime defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 1st round pick in 2021, a 2nd round pick in 2023, and defenseman Robert Hagg. I would say the Sabres were major winners in this trade landing a 1st round pick and a player for Ristolainen who has been a disappointment since arriving in Buffalo.
Later in the week the team also traded center Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers for a 2022 1st round pick and goalie prospect Devon Levi. Reinhart was by far the team’s best player this past season, but I would say there were no real winners in this trade. The Sabres received fair compensation for an above average player in a move that was inevitable with the franchise in the midst of a rebuild.
The week culminated with the Sabres picking 1st overall in the draft which began on Friday night. Not surprisingly, with their first pick the team selected defenseman Owen Power from the University of Michigan. This is a great selection for the Sabres as they begin their youth movement; Power is an offensive defenseman with size and potentially generational skills. The team finished off the night selecting forward Isak Rosen from Sweden with the 14th overall pick which they received in a trade from the Flyers. Rosen has the potential to be as good as perennial All-Star Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s just up to the new coaching staff to unleash his talent.
What to Watch
The Olympics are in full swing and continue through August 8th. The United States has reached the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Lastly, the MLB playoff races are heating up as we move closer to the Fall Classic.