It’s never too early to talk about the draft, and with the 2021 draft a few months away, we start looking at different eligible prospects to gage the talent level and expectations. Today, we start it off with Owen Power, a Mississauga native and Michigan defensemen.
Power is a big 6’6, 214lbs defensemen who plays collegiate hockey for the Michigan Wolverines. His commitment to playing hockey south of the Canadian boarder started in 2017-18 when he joined the Chicago Steel of the USHL. He did so upon having graduated from AAA hockey.
He is among the top prospects heading into this year’s draft and is expected to hear his name called among the top five players.
The big defensemen is a serious presence on the ice and is always involved in plays on every shift. He’s very physical at clearing the net and has an active stick when it comes to blocking lanes and angles when defending. Power reads plays well and does a good job at dictating where the puck goes.
He is also good at blocking the center of the ice and keeps players on the perimeter, where the scoring chances are limited, allowing teammates to get back in time or allow a weak shooting attempt from the outside. He controls the opposition’s attack well and is always looking to limit dangerous scoring chances.
Power has great defensive skills, but he also possesses offensives abilities that are hard to find with defensemen of his stature. One of those abilities is precision and accuracy when passing the puck. He not only makes the simple and easy ones, but he manages to feed teammates through multiple defenders and in tight areas.
His passes are flat and on the tape, which allows players to make quicker reads and make decisions before the goalie can react, leading to a goal or scoring chance with the slot and blue paint.
His passing and vision is excellent, but he also has a quality shot. He gets pucks on net and prefers the efficient shot, the one that likely gets to the net, versus the bomb that might be harder and has more velocity, but might never reach the goalie. He makes calculated shot attempts and it leads to serious opportunities.
Outside of his physical abilities and his play in both ends, Power has great footwork and moves around extremely well. His mobility moving up and down the ice, as well as his lateral transition, allows him to do more on the ice and it also elevates his potential. This also gets him to close the space between him and opposing defenders to kill plays quickly while also allowing him to extend plays when cycling the puck in enemy territory. All this because of his mobility and it makes that much more of a great prospect.
Power isn’t guaranteed to go first, no one is. This draft is very open and there could be a tight race until the end, but Power has all the tools to be a long-term pillar on defence for any team who picks him. With the qualities and skillset mentioned above, he has can seriously help any team moving forward. He is the best prospect in this draft, in my opinion, and can be among the top young defensemen in the near future when he turns pro.