TORONTO (WIVB) – Come Tuesday night the Sabres will get a “Power surge”, turn on the “Power button”, after making a “Power move”, whatever pun you want to use, chances are we’ve heard most of them by now as Owen Power gets ready to make his NHL debut.
“Yeah I think every guy has been so good especially to me coming in, everybody’s been so welcoming and so nice to me. They’re just trying to include me in everything so I think they’ve done a great job making it easy for me coming in and adjust,” Power said after practice in Toronto on Monday.
After signing his three-year, entry level deal on Friday, Power met the Sabres in Tampa and will now play his first game as a pro not far from where he grew up. He’s from Mississauga so that certainly adds to the excitement of making his NHL debut against the Maple Leafs.
“It’s pretty cool, being here in Toronto for kind of my first stretch so it’s definitely a special moment.”
While the Sabres are a young team, for a 19 year-old about to suit up for the first time as a pro, there’s a lot of guys he can learn from. One of them is Henri Jokiharju who Power spent most of Monday’s practice skating alongside.
Another guy Power’s leaned on in his short time with the Sabres is Rasmus Dahlin which makes sense given he was in his shoes not too long ago as the number one overall pick in 2018.
“I think he’s a guy that’s kind of gone through the same experience so I think he’s someone I can really lean on, just ask as many questions as I can and just learn from him,” Power explained.
“He’s a young kid, he’s here to learn and it takes time so that’s going to be my advice to him. It takes time, just let him be who he is and develop so, no rush,” Dahlin said after practice on Monday.
After the Sabres drafted Power first overall in 2021, he had to decide whether or not to go back to college. Ultimately that’s what he did as he spent one more season playing for Michigan. And it wasn’t just the playing time he got there that was valuable but the other experiences this past year as well.
“I think the Olympics and World Championships especially have given me more confidence coming in here playing against pros and I kind of know a little bit what it’s like so, I think those two appearances have helped me,” Power said.
In his zoom call on Friday, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said he doesn’t want Power to come in and feel like there’s all this weight on his shoulders, which can certainly happen given high expectations surrounding the top draft pick. But head coach Don Granato echoed Adams’ statement saying they don’t want to overwhelm him right off the bat.
“We don’t want to throw a lot at him, we haven’t, we’ll let him absorb it at his own rate. It was big to get him into practice and see how we practice and play and certain points of emphasis we have and it’s all going to come somewhat, I guess organically. We’re not going to push and inundate him with information overload,” Granato said.
Power is set to make his NHL debut Tuesday in Toronto as the Sabres take on the Maple Leafs and wrap up a four-game road trip. Puck drop on Tuesday night is set for seven.