BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Rasmus Dahlin’s ascent to NHL stardom was recognized Monday when he was selected as the league’s first star of the week.
Dahin scored three goals and had two assists to help Buffalo sweep its Western Canada trip with wins at Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. He logged a plus-5 rating in averaging 24:02 of ice time.
The 22-year-old drafted No. 1 overall by the Sabres in 2018, Dahlin has scored in each of the first five games of his fifth season to set an NHL record for defenseman. He is the only Buffalo blue-liner to record a five-game goal streak, and the first Sabre since Thomas Vanek in 2008.
“He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with,” said Alex Tuch, who leads the Sabres with six goals. “And I don’t think he’s come close to being as good as he can be.”
Dahlin currently leads NHL defenseman in goals (five), points (eight) and plus-minus (+8).
Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson compared Dahlin to former teammate Erik Karlsson, a two-time winner of the Norris Trophy given to the NHL’s best defenseman.
“When Erik Karlsson was at the top of his game, he was doing things with the puck that you just wouldn’t expect him to do because he had that confidence,” Anderson told the team website. “And Dahls is there in his own game, right?
“I’m not comparing him to Erik, but I’m comparing him to that confidence, that swagger with the puck that he has to be able to make those plays. He’s just playing loose and letting his skill and ability take over right now.”
Buffalo concludes a four-game road trip Tuesday night in Seattle, seeking its longest road win streak to start a season since 2006, when the Sabres went on to claim the President’s Trophy with the best record in the NHL.
“I think it starts from hard work and we really deserve this confidence we have right now,” Dahlin said following the win in Vancouver. “We’re playing away games but we’re playing them really, really good and we’re really starting to find our game.”