NHL

First impressions of Owen Power, and the future of the defence position

Last week, I had the good fortune of being able to attend Darryl Belfry's coaching workshop in Florida, where he shared a lot of insight into how he thinks about the game. The focus of the event was technically how he trains the players he works with (a list which includes Auston MatthewsNathan MacKinnon and some of the very best the NHL has to offer), but everything he talked about ultimately came back to a few central principles that his work revolves around. 

The uniting theme of those concepts is the pursuit of optimizing offence by creating competitive advantages that allow you to score in a more efficient and sustainable manner. Some of that is skill-based, but a lot of it honestly boils down to game theory that should be exploitable tactically by anyone that's interested in doing so.  

Watching Owen Power's first handful of games in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, it's been impossible not to notice how the unique habits he's already showing mesh rather neatly with that very approach. 

He was the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft for a reason, blessed with various tools that are hard to come by. He's a 6-foot-6 defender that moves smoothly, and you can't teach that. But his approach and the way he plays instinctually are arguably just as impressive as all of the other physical traits to me. 

He's stepped right into the best league in the world and immediately started making high-level plays to drive positive results.

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