Sabres draft standout NCAA defenceman Owen Power 1st overall

The Buffalo Sabres have picked defenceman Owen Power first overall in the NHL draft.

The six-foot-six, 213-pound blue-liner from Mississauga, Ont., played at the University of Michigan last season before being selected to Team Canada for the men’s world hockey championships in May.

The league’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken, chose Power’s Michigan teammate centre Matthew Beniers with the No. 2 selection.

Mason McTavish, a centre from the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes, was selected third by the Anaheim Ducks.

The Vancouver Canucks were scheduled to be the first Canadian team on the board but earlier in the day sent the No. 9 pick to the Arizona Coyotes in a blockbuster trade.

The deal gives Arizona the first-round selection while Vancouver acquires defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland. The Coyotes also receive Canucks forwards Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel, plus the club’s second-round pick in 2022 and its seventh-round selection in 2023.

The Ottawa Senators selected 10th, followed by the Calgary Flames (No. 13), Winnipeg Jets (No. 18), Edmonton Oilers (No. 20) and Montreal Canadiens (No. 31).

WATCH | Get ready for busy NHL off-season:

Thanks to the Seattle Kraken, hockey fans will have plenty to keep them busy over the next few weeks. 2:57

The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt their first-round selection to the Columbus Blue Jackets in April for forward Nick Foligno and won’t pick until midway through the second-round (No. 57 overall) on Saturday.

The draft is being held virtually for the second year in a row.

Scouts, general managers and players have all said this year’s draft is difficult to predict as the COVID-19 pandemic limited chances for young athletes to play and be discovered.

Sens’ pick Boucher commits to Boston U.

The Ottawa Senators selected forward Tyler Boucher with the 10th overall pick at the NHL entry draft Friday.

The six-foot-one, 205-pound right-winger comes from the U.S. National Team Development Program where he put up 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 12 games last season for the under-18 squad. He is currently committed to Boston University for the upcoming season.

Boucher’s father is former NHL goaltender Brian Boucher, who played 13 seasons in the league.

Senators GM Pierre Dorion announced the pick from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, saying the club is looking forward to welcome fans back to the stands in October.

Ottawa will have five more picks (No. 39, 42, 74, 170, 202) when the draft resumes with the second round on Saturday.

The Senators struggled through the beginning of the abbreviated 2021 NHL season and ended the campaign second last in the North Division with a 23-28-5 record.

One bright spot was rookie Tim Stuetzle, who Ottawa chose third overall in last year’s draft.

The 19-year-old German left-winger tallied 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 53 NHL games.

The Sens also selected Jake Sanderson in the first round last year, selecting the American defenceman with the No. 5 overall pick.

Flames prospect Coronato USHL’s top forward

Forward Matthew Coronato is the newest member of the Flames after the team picked him 13th overall.

The five-foot-10, 183-pound right-winger was the No. 9-ranked North American skater after leading the USHL with 48 goals for the Chicago Steel last season.

Coronato was named the league’s forward of the year and has committed to playing for Harvard next season.

Flames GM Brad Treliving made the announcement via video stream from the Saddledome in Calgary.

Calgary was handed the No. 13 pick after finishing the year out of the playoffs with a 26-27-3 record. The Flames’ season was punctuated by a coaching change in early March when Darryl Sutter replaced Geoff Ward as bench boss.

The club will have six picks to go when the draft resumes with the second round on Saturday, including No. 45, 77, 84, 141, 173 and 205.

Calgary made some moves before making its first pick in the 2020 draft, dropping from 19th spot down to 24th before selecting centre Connor Zary.

Zary played an shortened season with the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers this year and put up 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) in 15 games.

Jets’ Lucius bound for U. of Minnesota

The Winnipeg Jets used the 18th overall pick to select forward Chaz Lucius in the NHL entry draft Friday.

The six-foot-one, 185-pound centre comes to Winnipeg from the U.S. National Team Development Program where he tallied 20 points (13 goals, 7 assists) in 13 games after recovering from a knee injury last season.

Lucius was the No. 12-ranked North American skater and is set to play at the University of Minnesota next fall.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff announced the selection via video from the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg.

Winnipeg finished the regular season third in the North Division with a 30-23-3 record and swept the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs. The Jets struggled in round two, however, and were ousted by the Montreal Canadiens in a four-game series.

The Jets will have three more picks to make (No. 50, 82, 146) when the draft resumes with the second round on Saturday.

Oilers’ Bourgault fresh off 20-goal season

The Edmonton Oilers swapped their first-round pick before selecting forward Xavier Bourgault 22nd overall in the NHL entry draft Friday.

The six-foot, 172-pound centre had 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) in 29 games for the Shawinigan Cataractes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season.

Bourgault was the No. 13-ranked North American skater heading into the draft.

The Oilers originally had the No. 20 pick in the first round but dealt it to the Minnesota Wild for the 22nd and the 90th.

The Wild used the 20th slot on Swedish goalie Jesper Wallstedt.

Edmonton will have some time to kill when the draft continues with the second round Saturday. The club’s next pick is No. 90, coming in the third round, followed by Nos. 116, 180, 186 and 212.

The Oilers finished second in the North Division last season with a 35-19-2 record but were swept from the first round of the playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets.

Edmonton used the 14th overall pick on centre Dylan Holloway at the 2020 draft.

The 19-year-old Calgary native played at the University of Wisconsin last season, putting up 35 points (11 goals and 24 assists) in 23 games.

Canadiens’ Mailloux charged, fined

The Montreal Canadiens made a controversial pick, selecting defenceman Logan Mailloux at No. 31.

Mailloux posted a statement on Twitter earlier this week, asking teams not to draft him after news surfaced that he had been charged and paid a fine in Sweden for distributing a sexual photo without consent.

The statement said being drafted into the NHL is an honour and a privilege and that Mailloux felt he had not demonstrated enough maturity or character to earn that privilege.

Mailloux plays for the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights but spent last season on loan to SK Lejon in Sweden’s third division.

His statement said not being drafted in 2021 would allow him to “demonstrate an adequate level of maturity and character next season with the London Knights” and give NHL teams a chance to reassess his character ahead of the 2022 draft.

The Canadiens put out a statement shortly after announcing Mailloux as their pick.

“By drafting prospect Logan Mailloux with the 31st overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens organization not only selected a promising hockey player, but also a young man who recently admitted to making a serious mistake. The Canadiens are aware of the situation and by no means minimize the severity of Logan’s actions. Logan understands the impact of his actions. His recent public statement is a genuine acknowledgment of his poor behaviour and the first step on his personal journey,” read the statement.

“We are making a commitment to accompany Logan on his journey by providing him with the tools to mature and the necessary support to guide him in his development. We are also committed to raising awareness among our players about the repercussions of their actions on the lives of others.”

Montreal is coming off a Cinderella post-season run after sneaking into the playoffs with a 24-21-11 record.

The Habs proved to be a feisty foe, dispatching the Toronto Maple Leafs in a seven-game first round series, sweeping the Winnipeg Jets in round two and ousting the Vegas Golden Knights in a gritty six-game bout before finally falling in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has plenty of work ahead of him when the draft resumes with the second round on Saturday. Montreal owns picks No. 63, 64, 76, 87, 113, 126, 127, 142, 191, 223.

Defenceman Kaiden Guhle was the Habs top pick in the 2020 draft, going 16th overall.

Friday’s 1st-round picks:

   1. Buffalo, Owen Power, D, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
   2. Seattle, Matthew Beniers, C, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
   3. Anaheim, Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough (OHL)
   4. New Jersey, Luke Hughes, D, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
   5. Columbus, Kent Johnson, C, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
   6. Detroit, Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda (Sweden)
   7. San Jose, William Eklund, LW, Djurgarden (Sweden)
   8. Los Angeles, Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie (OHL)
   9. Arizona (from Vancouver), Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL)
   10. Ottawa, Tyler Boucher, RW, Boston Univ. (NCAA)
   11. Arizona forfeited pick
   12. Columbus (from Chicago), Cole Sillinger, C, Sioux Falls (USHL)
   13. Calgary, Matthew Coronato, RW, Harvard Univ. (NCAA)
   14. Buffalo (from Philadelphia), Isak Rosen, RW, Leksand (Sweden)
   15. Detroit (from Dallas), Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton (WHL)
   16. N.Y. Rangers, Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL)
   17. St. Louis, Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)
   18. Winnipeg, Chaz Lucius, C, Univ. of Minnesota (NCAA)
   19. Nashville, Fedor Svechkov, C, St. Petersburg (Russia)
   20. Minnesota (from Edmonton), Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea (Sweden)
   21. Boston, Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea (Sweden)
   22. Edmonton (from Minnesota), Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
   23. Dallas (from Detroit via Washington), Wyatt Johnston, C, Windsor (OHL)
   24. Florida, Mackie Samoskevich, RW, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
   25. Columbus (from Toronto), Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks (AJHL)
   26. Minnesota (from Pittsburgh), Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg (WHL)
   27. Nashville (from Carolina), Zachary L’Heureux, LW, Halifax (QMJHL)
   28. Colorado, Oskar Olausson, RW, HV 71 (Sweden)
   29. New Jersey (from N.Y. Islanders), Chase Stillman, RW, Esbjerg (Denmark)
   30. Vegas, Zach Dean, C, Gatineau (QMJHL)
   31. Montreal, Logan Mailloux, D, London (OJHL)
   32. Chicago (from Columbus via Tampa Bay), Nolan Allan, D, Prince Albert (WHL)
    x — Arizona forfeits 2021 first-round pick for violating NHL Combine Testing policy during 2019-20 season.

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