The Buffalo Sabres are now on the clock.
By virtue of the annual NHL Draft Lottery held on Saturday, the Sabres have won the opportunity to draft first overall in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft this summer. And, of course, to draft Swedish defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin. Coming into the lottery they had an 18.5 percent chance of snagging the top pick.
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Top 15 Picks in the Draft
1. Buffalo Sabres
2. Carolina Hurricanes
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Ottawa Senators
5. Arizona Coyotes
6. Detroit Red Wings
7. Vancouver Canucks
8. Chicago Blackhawks
9. New York Rangers
10. Edmonton Oilers
11. New York Islanders
12. New York Islanders
13. Dallas Stars
14. Philadelphia Flyers
15. Florida Panthers
Unlike in the NFL, there will be no debate as to who will be going first overall. Dahlin is considered by many to be a generational talent. Not just the best player to come out this year. Something that should bring a smile to General Manager Jason Botteril’s face as the Sabres finished dead last in the NHL in his first season as GM with a record of 25-45-12. In addition to their last place finish last year, the Sabres have finished last in the division in four of the last five seasons.
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Barely 18, Dahlin is the top prospect across the board by every reputable hockey publication. He is described as a terrific two-way defenseman who has unbelievable skating ability. In addition, he can be a very physical player despite his thin frame. He is currently 6-foot-2 and only 183 pounds. Given how young he is, adding size and weight will be the first goal of his as he looks to make an immediate impact with the Sabres. Much like the one Jack Eichel made with the Sabres in 2015 as the second overall selection.
In his time spent in the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) with the Frolunda HC he notched 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 67 games with the top level club the past two seaons. While with Frolunda HC in the J20 division during the same time frame, Dahlin notched 10 goals and 14 assists in just 25 games at the Junior level.