This article is part of our NHL Draft series.
In desperate need of a second franchise-altering talent to pair alongside Jack Eichel, the Buffalo Sabres lucked out and will pick first in Dallas in a draft that features a lot of depth, but no high-end goaltending prospects. The New York Rangers own three first-round selections while Philadelphia, Ottawa, Detroit, Chicago and the Islanders each have a pair. Our annual ranking of the top eligible players follows.
Note: This is not a mock draft, nor does it take team needs into account.
1. Rasmus Dahlin (D, Frolunda-SHL): Teams are going to come calling on picks two and three, but Buffalo won't be trading the first overall pick because Dahlin is a stud and a franchise building block. Dahlin is the complete package. He has elite offensive instincts and the smarts and foot speed to excel defensively. Sure, he needs to add a few pounds of muscle like most young defensemen, but his hockey IQ will allow him to play in the league while he bulks up. He cracked the Swedish Olympic team (although he barely played in the tournament) and was productive (seven goals, 20 points in 41 games) playing against men in Sweden's top league all year long despite the fact he skated the entire season as a 17-year-old. I am a huge fan of the players ranked second and third on this list, but there is a substantial gap between Dahlin and everyone else. Senators star Erik Karlsson is on record as saying that Dahlin is better