With the second overall pick in The Hockey Writers mock NHL draft, the Seattle Kraken are proud to select from the University of Michigan, defenceman Owen Power.
Bulding From the Blue Line
With the Buffalo Sabres selecting Matthew Beniers first overall, the door was open to take the best defenceman in this draft. Owen Power is going to be a force in the NHL for years to come. He has dominated at every level and showed he can compete against men while at the World Championships this past season. He is a player who can be the face of the franchise and has the potential to be one of the best in the league based on his development projections.
Building your blueline is extremely important. No. 1 defencemen are difficult to find, which is why, if available, Seattle needs to take Power. Yes, they could go with William Eklund, who many consider the best player in the draft, but Power is the better long-term solution.
There are three other players that you could make a case for at second overall. The first is William Eklund. As mentioned, he does have the potential to be the best player coming out of this draft and is going to be an offensive threat in the NHL for many years.
Related: THW’s 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Next, you have Dylan Guenther of the Edmonton Oil Kings. He is a power forward who can skate extremely well and put the puck in the net. In 12 WHL games, he had 24 points including 12 goals. The only downside is he does not play center.
The last is Brandt Clarke. He is a right-handed defenceman who played in Slovakia this past year where he had 15 points in 26 games. Depending on Seattle’s Expansion Draft selections, Clarke may be an option at second overall.
What Can Power Bring to Seattle
What more needs to be said about Power? He is a dynamic defenceman that can move the puck, play physically and contribute offensively. Despite being NHL ready, it looks as though he will be going back to the University of Michigan next season. That’s not a major issue as Seattle does not need him right away, and will not have to rush him into the NHL. His decision to go back to Michigan is Team Canada’s gain, as he should be a big part of their 2022 World Juniors team.
Power played 26 games with Michigan this past season. He was a minus player only five times the entire year. He also had a shot on goal in every game except five this season. The level of consistency that he shows is impressive. There is constant generation of offence, and he is not afraid to get pucks on net. Do not underestimate the ability to get pucks on net – way too often in the NHL, we see defencemen dumping the puck down the boards, or forwards hesitating to take shots. We will have to wait and see if this skill translates to the NHL, but it seems as though Power understands the importance of generating scoring chances and does everything he can to get the puck on net.
His time at the University of Michigan has been impressive, but it is his time at the World Championship that really stood out this season. He started out as the seventh defenceman, but by the end of the tournament, was playing on Canada’s top pair. During the three playoff round games, he never dropped below 24 minutes of ice-time, including a game where he played 27:51 against the USA in the semi-finals. He got shots on net, played stellar defence and was a major reason why Canada won gold this past year.
Defence Wins Championships
In short, you need a defenceman like Power to win the Stanley Cup. In the last few seasons, we have seen players like Victor Hedman, Alex Pietrangelo, John Carlson and Kris Letang step up and help lead their teams to championships. Hedman was so instrumental in helping Tampa clinch the 2020 championship that he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy. Teams need a player that can generate offense from the back-end while being a force defensively. That is why Owen Power was taken second in the 2021 THW NHL mock draft.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken team. His work can also be found at dubnetwork.ca where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. Adam is excited to be part of the Kraken’s inaugural season and ready to bring you in depth coverage of the NHL’s 32nd team.