Sabres take Dahlin with the first overall pick

The Buffalo Sabres select the stud defenseman from Sweden with the first pick of the 2018 NHL Draft

Brayton Wilson
June 22, 2018 - 6:24 pm

Photo: Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of anticipation after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on April 28, Rasmus Dahlin is now officially a Buffalo Sabre.

The Sabres opened up the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas, Texas by selecting the Swedish defenseman with the first overall pick. Dahlin, 18, was the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft, and has been highly touted as the best defensive prospect to enter the NHL Draft in several years.

Standing at 6' 3" and 185-pounds, the young blue liner scored seven goals and 20 points for the Frölunda Indians of the Swedish Hockey League this season. In the postseason, Dahlin scored once and tacked on two assists in six games, but was knocked out of the SHL Playoffs in the first round.

Dahlin has been in the national spotlight over the past two years, playing for the Swedish National Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship. As a 16-year-old in 2017, Dahlin scored a goal and an assist in seven games played as Sweden went on to a fourth place finish. The next year in Buffalo, Dahlin was a men amongst boys on the ice, finishing with six assists and the honors of Best Defenseman as selected by the tournament directorate. However, Sweden fell just short of the gold medal, losing to Canada in the tournament's final game.

Sweden also selected Dahlin to participate on the men's national team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. However, Dahlin only dressed for two games while picking up an assist in seven combined minutes of action.

Dahlin is just the second Swedish player to ever be taken with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft. Mats Sundin was the first Swede to go No. 1 overall to the Quebec Nordiques in 1989.

Dahlin will be in Buffalo for development camp, which begins on Wednesday, June 27 at HarborCenter and runs through Saturday, June 30. The first three days of camp will be free and open to the public. Saturday's 3-on-3 tournament is only open to season ticket holders.

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