Defenseman Owen Power, the Buffalo Sabres’ No. 1 overall pick in July’s NHL draft, has decided to return for his sophomore season at the University of Michigan, multiple outlets reported Thursday.
Power, 18, had to choose between extending his amateur career and reporting to the Sabres’ organization ahead of the 2021-22 season. In interviews before the draft, Power had hinted that he was enticed to play another NCAA season.
The Canadian blueliner is listed at 6-feet-6, 213 pounds, and was considered the consensus best prospect available to the Sabres at No. 1.
Power was one of four current or incoming Wolverines players to be selected in the top five of the draft. Defenseman Luke Hughes (No. 4 pick, New Jersey) is headed to Michigan for his freshman year and will team up with Power.
Center Matthew Beniers (No. 2, Seattle) and forward Kent Johnson (No. 5, Columbus) also played for Michigan last season.
Power marks the fourth No. 1 overall pick in Buffalo history, and the franchise’s second in four years after the selection of Rasmus Dahlin in 2018.
The Sabres are concurrently dealing with an unhappy star center in Jack Eichel, whose agents have made it clear that he wants a trade.