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 newest Buffalo Sabre is…<br><br>Owen Power! 🙌<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/LetsGoBuffalo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#LetsGoBuffalo</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/umichhockey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@UMichHockey</a> <a href=”https://t.co/u15fjFw6co”>pic.twitter.com/u15fjFw6co</a>
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).
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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.
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.
Ottawa selects winger Tyler Boucher
The Ottawa Senators selected forward Tyler Boucher with the 10th overall pick at the NHL entry draft Friday.
The six-foot-one, 205-pound right-winger comes from the U.S. National Team Development Program where he put up 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 12 games last season for the under-18 squad. He is currently committed to Boston University for the upcoming season.
Welcome to the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sens?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Sens</a> family, <a href=”https://twitter.com/boucher_tylerr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@boucher_tylerr</a>! <br><br>📸 <a href=”https://twitter.com/USAHockeyNTDP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@USAHockeyNTDP</a> / Rena Laverty <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoSensGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#GoSensGo</a> <a href=”https://t.co/9P2XLVhDC2″>pic.twitter.com/9P2XLVhDC2</a>
Boucher’s father is former NHL goaltender Brian Boucher, who played 13 seasons in the league.
The draft is being held virtually for the second year in a row and Senators general manager announced the pick from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, saying the club is looking forward to welcome fans back to the stands in October.
Ottawa will have five more picks (No. 39, 42, 74, 170, 202) when the draft resumes with the second round on Saturday.
The Senators struggled through the beginning of the abbreviated 2021 NHL season and ended the campaign second last in the North Division with a 23-28-5 record.
One bright spot was rookie Tim Stuetzle, who Ottawa chose third overall in last year’s draft.
The 19-year-old German left-winger tallied 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 53 NHL games.
The Sens also selected Jake Sanderson in the first round last year, selecting the American defenceman with the No. 5 overall pick.
2021 NHL Draft Selections List:
1. Buffalo, Owen Power, D, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
2. Seattle, Matthew Beniers, C, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
3. Anaheim, Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough (OHL)
4. New Jersey, Luke Hughes, D, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
5. Columbus, Kent Johnson, C, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
6. Detroit, Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda (Sweden)
7. San Jose, William Eklund, LW, Djurgarden (Sweden)
8. Los Angeles, Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie (OHL)
9. Arizona (from Vancouver), Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL)
10. Ottawa, Tyler Boucher, RW, Boston Univ. (NCAA)
From left to right: pick order, drafting team, player name, position and previous club with league or country in parentheses.