2018 NHL Draft: First-Round Pick Tracker

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After what seems like years of hype surround Rasmus Dahlin, it was finally the young Swedish defenseman’s day on Friday in Dallas.

The 18-year-old was taken with the top pick at the 2018 NHL draft by the Buffalo Sabres, fulfilling the longtime expectation for the blueliner many scouts describe as a generational talent, a smooth-skating, play-making defender.

He’s drawn lofty comparisons to fellow Swedish defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, Victor Hedman and Erik Karlsson. He’s the first Swede to go No. 1 since forward Mats Sundin was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in 1989.

Dahlin nows joins a Sabres franchise that’s been stuck in a rebuilding phase despite having a top-10 selection in each of the last six drafts, including No. 2 picks Sam Reinhart (2014) and Jack Eichel (2015). Buffalo’s newest player is adamant that he can help the cause right away.

“I think I’m ready right now to play in the NHL,” he said ahead of Friday’s first round.

Dahlin excelled in the Swedish Hockey League over the last two seasons, racking up seven goals and 20 points with Frolunda in 2017-18, taking home junior player of the year honors. He also was the youngest men’s hockey player at the PyeongChang Olympics in February, getting in a pair of games and adding an assist for Tre Kronor.

Here’s how the rest of the first round of the 2018 NHL draft shook out on Friday:


2018 NHL Draft: First-Round Picks

Pick No.

Team

Player

1

Rasmus Dahlin, D

6’2″, 185 lbs/Frolunda HC (SHL)

2

Andrei Svechnikov, RW

6’2″, 192 lbs/ Barrie Colts (OHL)

3

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C

6’2″, 183 lbs/Assat (FIN)

4

Brady Tkachuk, LW

6’3″, 191 lbs/ Boston University (NCAA)

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

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