Photo Credit – Chicago Steel
Owen Power is a 2021 NHL Draft eligible defenseman, who hails from Mississauga, Ontario. Similarly to Brandt Clarke, another highly touted 2021 NHL Draft eligible defenseman, Power played midget and bantam youth hockey in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). Power played in the Mississauga Reps system and recorded a 33 point season in his final GTHL season (2017-2018).
After his time with the Mississauga Reps, he was drafted in both, the OHL draft and the USHL draft. The Flint Firebirds drafted him in the second round of 2018 OHL draft with pick #22. But, Power ultimately decided to join the Chicago Steel of the USHL, after they selected him with the seventh overall pick in 2018 USHL draft. The goal for Power was to play NCAA hockey at the University of Michigan and if he opted to play with the Flint Firebirds he would lose his NCAA eligibility.
Power spent two seasons with the Chicago Steel and became one of the best all-around defenseman in the USHL. In his first season with the Steel, he tallied 11 goals and 14 assists in 58 games. Power improved upon his production in his second and final season in Chicago, in which he recorded 12 goals and 28 assists in 45 games.
This past season, Power played for the University of Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines are a well-rounded team with a lot of talent including Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose Sharks prospect), Brendan Brisson (Vegas Golden Knights prospect), Cameron York (Philadelphia Flyers prospect), Kent Johnson (2021 NHL Draft eligible prospect) and Matthew Beniers (2021 NHL Draft eligible prospect). In 26 games played, he recorded 16 points (3 goals and 13 assists).
Power was invited to Canada’s 2021 World Junior Championship camp in Red Deer, Alberta, but did not attend. The University of Michigan chose not to release him. But, he will be playing for Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championships in Riga, Latvia.
D.O.B – November 22, 2002
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2021
Weight –214 lbs
Position – Defense
Handedness – Left
Power’s Style Of Play
Owen Power is a net front defenseman. He will put pressure on any attacker, who is looking to screen Strauss Mann and Erik Portillo (Michigan’s goaltenders). When he is not sitting net front, he is closing down lanes primarily on the left side of the ice. Power is efficient at keeping the rush glued to the boards. By doing so, Power eliminates high danger situations and prevents the attack from doing much aside from cycling the puck around the half-wall. While Power thrives at shutting down lanes, he isn’t overly physical. There are shifts where Power will lay down a hit, but it is not consistent. Most of the time, he insists on trapping the cycle along the boards, but will not look to neutralize the cycle on every single shift. He does exert more pressure when the rush gets to the perimeter. From the blue-line to the perimeter, he is more relaxed with his gap control.
While Power customarily patrols the left side of the ice, when his defensive partner (usually Nick Blankenburg) is stuck in a jam behind the red line, he will alternate sides and provide additional support. But, if Power has his back turned towards the attack, he will struggle to dodge the forecheck. Power needs to work on using his peripheral vision to identify the forechecker and develop quick pivots to muscle around the forechecker to avoid coughing up the puck.
From a transitional perspective, do not expect Power to push the play alone. Power isn’t going to go from zone to zone with the puck every shift. You will see instances throughout each game where Power does goes zone to zone, but Power often looks to feed zone exit passes in order to move the puck up the ice. In addition, Power is cautious with the puck and will not throw the puck into dangerous situations. If he sees the forecheck trying to close in on him, he will fall back and identify the ideal teammate to deliver a breakout pass to. Not only is it the safe approach, but it allows him to dictate the pace of the game. If he wants to slow the game down and silence an aggressive forecheck, falling back in the defensive zone buys Power some more time to find that teammate to pass to. Yet, we do see instances when Power is going from zone to zone, similarly to Clarke, he will zig-zag through the neutral zone to avoid traffic.
When defending in the neutral zone, Power will use an active stick when the rush draws close to Michigan blue-line. His active stick is the same as the gate coming crashing down. When he extends his stick out, he forces the opposition to dump the puck into the Michigan zone.
In the offensive zone, Power is a quality puck distributor. He possesses the ability to deliver crisp feeds all over the offensive zone, but his long range passing makes him an elite distributor. The Mississauga native can feed long range passing from the blue-line and that allows him to be clutch on the power play.
Not only does Power have the ability to thread the needle from the point, but he also has a cannon of a shot. Power has a big wind-up on his slap shot, which strengthens his slap shot power.
When Power does not have possession of the puck in the offensive zone, he does whatever he can to get open and gives his teammates an open teammate to pass to. If play moves to the left side of the offensive zone, Power will shift to the right side to provide an opportunity for his teammates to deliver a cross ice pass to him.
Not only does Power look for open ice, he will pinch and get into the trenches when the cycle goes past the red line. He will jump up to the perimeter and even move closer towards the corner to be more involved in the cycle. The only issue with his aggressive offensive play is that more than often he is one of the last players back into the defensive zone which can be disastrous when Michigan is looking to shut down an attack.
When you evaluate his skating, you will see that Power is not the fastest skater on the ice. But, he can turn on the jets if and when there is a breakaway and his defensive partner is well out of reach. Power’s ankle flexion is solid and he will utilize quality crossovers to get his motor going.
While he does have strong crossovers, I want to see crossovers being used a tad more consistently in the defensive zone. There will be shifts in which Power’s positioning might be a bit further out from the attacker and it takes him longer to get into position for gap control because he doesn’t use crossovers in the defensive zone as frequently as he does when he’s on the rush.
In addition, he needs further development with edges and pivoting. When Power has his back turned in the defensive zone and the forecheck is bearing down on him, he does not have the ability to quickly pivot and move away from the attack.
Dustin Byfuglien, Right Handed Defenseman, Played for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers
While Power’s physical game is not at the level of Dustin Byfuglien, like Byfuglien, he thrives at pinching in the corners and keeping the cycle alive. I am hopeful that the physicality will come over time. I would like to emphasize that getting to Byfuglien’s level of physicality will be a tough road, but if Power can boost his physical game it makes him even more dangerous in all three zones. Aside from physicality, both defensemen are strong puck distributors and can light up the lamp from the point.
stats from InStat and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
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