The Buffalo Sabres have obtained the first selection in the 2021 NHL Draft for the second time in four years, with the Kraken and Ducks picking second and third respectively. The top two candidates for the first overall pick are domestic defensemen Owen Power from the University of Michigan and international forward William Eklund of the Swedish Hockey League.
The third and youngest Hughes brother, Luke, is also eligible as the fourth ranked North American skater. It’s typical of teams to draft offensive talent first if they have a high draft spot. This has become more and more prevalent in the NHL as the game continues to get younger and faster.
However, some organizations are starting to realize the potential in adding a dynamic offensive threat to their blue line such as players like Cale Makar, Quinn Hughes, and Miro Heiskanen. Buffalo in particular has a tough choice to make. They have serious problems on both their front and back ends. The last “elite” level defenseman picked first overall was Aaron Ekblad back in 2014. The Ducks will most likely try to acquire more forward talent to support Rickard Rakell after adding Kevin Shattenkirk during the 2019-2020 offseason. As for the Kraken, it’ll be interesting to see who they get from the Expansion Draft.