Owen Power is not quite ready to leave the Michigan Wolverines just yet.
According to a report from the Buffalo News, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft will return to Ann Arbor next season instead of making the immediate jump to the pros. This has not been done by the top pick since 2006 when Erik Johnson stayed one more year at Minnesota.
Given that the Buffalo Sabres are in disarray as an organization, it makes sense to wait things out a bit and return to a Michigan hockey team that feels like it has unfinished business from last season.
The Wolverines are considered to be one of the favorites to compete for a national championship this season. The program made history this summer with four players selected in the first five picks in the draft. Matty Beniers (Seattle Kraken), Luke Hughes (New Jersey Devils) and Kent Johnson (Columbus Blue Jackets) made up the rest of the historic group.
“It’s an extraordinary year to say the least, and I’m coming up on my 40th year in college hockey at the Division 1 level,” Michigan head coach Mel Pearson said via MiningJournal.net. “I’ve been around some high-end players, but never the quality and the quantity that we’re seeing here at Michigan. Just extremely proud and extremely happy for the young men and their families.”
A fifth Wolverine came off the board in the first round in the form of wing commit Mackie Samoskevich at pick No. 24 to the Flordia Panthers.
Michigan had one of the most talented teams in college hockey last season but saw its run cut short in the NCAA Tournament due to a COVID-19 positive within the program. Here’s to a season of completion for the Wolverines.