CHN Staff Report
On a team loaded with freshman talent, one stood above the others, literally.
The 6-foot-5 defenseman Owen Power stepped into the college game and excelled right away, a rarity for a defenseman, let alone one that size.
It’s the reason why the Mississauga, Ontario, native is being considered for the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft.
“Owen Power is the real deal,” said Russ Cohen, host of NHL Prospects Radio on Sirius/XM. “He skates well, so well in fact that he rarely has to race back into position. That could change as he moves up the ladder in competition. He is an exceptional passer.
“Power doesn’t think about where to pass the puck. The freshman just does it and has the right feel to know when to lay a stretch pass on the tape. His mental maturity reminds me of Aaron Ekblad at the same age. He has a strong wrist shot. He knows when to go to the net and with his 6-5 frame, that helps his team on the offensive end. He will continue to get better.”
Power has 3 goals, 13 assists and is plus-18 this season. His numbers don’t dazzle like his fellow freshman, but they are good for a defenseman, and he does everything well.
“He’s a special talent and can blend being an elite skater and puck mover with being a load in front of his own net,” one NHL scout said. “I think he’s stronger on the left side but he can play either. It’s almost impossible to cycle on his side of the ice.”
Power is sixth on Michigan in scoring. The top four on the list are all fellow freshman: Thomas Bordeleau, Kent Johnson, Matty Beniers and Brendan Brisson. Brisson is already a first rounder, and Bordeleau was a second, while the others may all go in the first round of the next NHL Draft.
Michigan is a 2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, and will face two-time defending champion Minnesota-Duluth in the first round, in the Fargo Regional, on Friday.