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Sabres win NHL Draft lottery set to draft Dahlin

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Sabres win NHL Draft lottery set to draft Dahlin

Matthew Timm

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On April 28th, 2018, fifteen NHL teams met in Toronto, Ontario to find out where they would be drafting in the first round of the 2018 NHL entry level draft. NHL draft lottery gives all fifteen teams an opportunity at drafting first overall, second overall, and third overall. Coming into the draft lottery the Buffalo Sabres had the best odds of winning at 18.5%, and it paid off earning them the first pick.  

The draft lottery was implemented into the NHL to prevent teams from tanking to receive the first overall pick. The Buffalo Sabres have had their fair share of disappointment in the draft lottery losing out on Aaron Ekblad a defenseman who could have really helped Buffalo in 2014, instead drafting Sam Reinhart second overall, and missing out on generational talent Connor McDavid in 2015, instead drafting Jack Eichel second overall.

This year the stakes were especially high for the Sabres after having two back to back top three overall picks in the past two years Buffalo finished in the leagues basement for countless seasons but after the two top three picks there has been almost no improvement. What Buffalo needs desperately is help on the blueline and Rasmus Dahlin who is generational defensmen who has been compared to the likes of Victor Hedman, Erik Karlsson, and Denis Potvin. Dahlin is 18 and has played in the SHL of sweden for Serneke for three years now. Dahlin brings to the table something a player in the NHL has not brought to the league in many many years.

Dahlin not only brings skill but size to the blue line he stands at 6’2” and 187 lbs. Dahlin will join Rasmus Ristolainen, Marco Scandella, Zach Bogosian, Nathan Beaulieu, recently signed Lawrence Pilut on defense. Not to mention star forwards Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Ryan O’Reilly, Casey Mittelstadt, and Alex Nylander. Buffalo expects a lot of the roster to change this offseason but Dahlin is a big piece in the bright future of  Buffalo. Buffalo has not seen playoff hockey in over eight seasons and the question on everyone’s mind is “Can Dahlin lead us to the playoffs?”. Hockey analysts seem to think so but more than likely not in his first season. With all the pieces coming together for the Sabres, Buffalo is set to become one of the youngest teams in the NHL.

The optimism is always high in Buffalo after drafting in the top  10 but this year the hype seems to be legit. Dahlin is a special player and is considered a generational player, the type of defenseman that only comes around once every fifteen to twenty years. Dahlin is going to help in more ways than just skill, he is a high scoring player, phenomenal drive, incredible puck handling skills, insane hockey sense, and amazing skating abilities, not to mention he is a large physical player.

Buffalo fans, the road has been rough the past seven years and this is not a diss to any of the players that we have drafted in years past like Reinhart or Eichel but Dahlin is the real deal it may take time for him to grow into his full potential but he is going to be a special player in Buffalo for a very very long time and he will help be a large piece in the playoff push that Buffalo will make very soon.

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Sabres win NHL Draft lottery set to draft Dahlin