With a 16.6% chance, the Sabres saved their biggest win of the season for June, taking home the #1 overall pick in next month’s draft.
Despite murky waters atop the draft board, you can’t complain with the Sabres getting to hold all the cards here.
We polled five of our analysts on their initial reaction to the lottery, who they’d ideally take at #1 and who they expect to become a Sabre on draft day.
Here were the results.
Happy to win
- “The Sabres winning the lottery is a good thing, it isn’t affected by the NHLs new lottery rules and allows them to get the player they believe is the best in the class. It’s hard to argue against this being the best case scenario unless you have a huge issue with the potential pick of Owen Power.“
Fine with winning, but not overly excited
- “Great in terms of having your choice of any of the top prospects. Somewhat bad, because there’s no clear cut #1 guy. Opens a lot of room for speculation and reliance on the Sabres making the right decision.“
- “Indifferent, this is a year where the result of the lottery wasn’t much of a big deal to me. I’m not angry or upset that they won like some because they are likely to select a defenseman. With what is coming in the future: impending Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart trades, coupled with franchise centers at the top of the next two drafts, this is the year to try and add another impact defenseman.”
- “They will be selecting Owen Power unless something drastic happens before draft day.“
– “My initial reaction to winning the lottery is fear of taking Owen Power 1st overall.“
Three out of five analysts (3/5) say they would select center Matty Beniers with the first overall pick.
Two out of five analysts (2/5) say they would select winger William Eklund with the first overall pick
None of the analysts chose to select Owen Power with the #1 pick despite being the consensus to most likely be drafted in that spot.
The early debate with this pick resurfaces here as we’re left discussing Owen Power vs the field. While it’ll probably remain a conversation until the pick is in, it’d take a juicy rumor at this point to sway the mock drafts in that direction.
All five of our analysts said that they expect Owen Power to be the selection for Buffalo come draft day. If you take a look at any national mock draft, you’re going to find the same selection.
One of our analysts went as far to say, “I can’t see any of the 32 NHL teams not taking Owen Power at 1st overall at this point.”
Early Analysis on Owen Power
Prospect analyst Curtis Schwartzkopf put together a nice preliminary thread breaking down some of the strengths and weaknesses to Owen Power’s game.
He raises some concern as to why he may not be the best option for Buffalo at #1.
In some tough news, potential 1st overall pick Matty Beniers suffered an ugly ankle injury this morning while suiting up for Team USA at the IIHF World Championships.
While the extent of the injury is unclear at this point, it shouldn’t have any impact on whether the Sabres choose Beniers or not. If anything, it could affect his status for post-draft events like Development Camp or how much he’s able to physically prepare to play in the NHL next season.
Who would you take?
Chime in on social media and let us know your thoughts on the lottery win.
Owen Power or a forward?