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Dahlin dream to become reality

Sabres finally catch a break, will select 1st in 2018 Draft

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The third time was a charm. Finally. After finishing in last place for the third time in five years, the Buffalo Sabres won the draft lottery and will have the first overall selection this summer.

While there are many great prospects to choose from, Rasmus Dahlin has been the one player that many have wanted. All of the attention and talk about him for the past year is warranted. Buffalo has a promising pick in their hands, and there are no reasons why they should pick anyone else.

The Swedish defenseman is listed at 6’2″, 182 pounds and he just turned 18 years old. He’s been compared to players such as Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman, but many think he has the potential to be even better than that.

“He is a franchise-defining defenceman with an unprecedented ability to control the game in all areas. The last blueliner I saw with that capability at this age was Victor Hedman.” – Craig Button (TSN)

While he won’t even be 20 years old for another two years, he could very well crack the Sabres lineup in October. Whenever he does, if it’s then or later, he is going to make an immediate impact and instantly improve Buffalo’s defense as a whole.

If you’re looking for a weakness in Dahlin, there’s not much to find. He’s young, hasn’t proven anything at the NHL level, and can make mistakes. That may be about it. The Sporting News summarized Dahlin’s skills:

The worst thing to say about Dahlin’s defensive game is that he isn’t perfect — which is true of any athlete in any sport. But his defensive ability is well beyond his years. His understanding of gap control and defensive coverages is will beyond his years. His skating ability is as good as anyone’s, and while Hedman has great straight-line speed, Dahlin displays agility and puck poise that Hedman could have only wished to possess at the same age.

There are no flaws to his game. At an age where virtually every other top defensive prospect is still awkwardly figuring things out at a lower level, Dahlin is one of the top defensemen in arguably the second-toughest league in the entire world.

The Sabres lucked out with the lottery, and while Jason Botterill has a lot of work to do this summer as far as reshaping the team, getting Dahlin accelerates everything. There’s renewed hope in Buffalo.

Kevin founded the site in 2008 and it has taken off ever since. He graduated from Buffalo State College with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
2014-5-129
2014-6-028
2012-6-226
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
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1810-6-222
2010-8-222
Wild Card leaders:
2011-6-325
2011-6-325
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209-9-220
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198-8-319
188-8-218
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187-8-317
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
2014-5-129
2012-6-226
1811-5-224
Pacific Division Leaders:
2111-7-325
2011-8-123
2210-10-222
Wild Card leaders:
1910-7-222
199-6-422
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218-9-420
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199-9-119
207-8-519
187-8-317
208-11-117
196-12-113
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