BUFFALO – About 40 media members, including 20 cameramen, swarmed around Rasmus Dahlin, the presumptive first overall pick.
Some youngsters might’ve showcased a few nerves in the spotlight. Dahlin, less than two months removed from his 18th birthday, handled it like a pro this afternoon.
Heck, Dahlin said he “loves” dealing with the media.
“It’s pretty awesome, actually,” the slick defenseman told the throng assembled inside HarborCenter during the first prospect availability at the NHL Scouting Combine.
Get used to it, kid. You’ll be talking to the media the rest of your life.
The Sabres, of course, will draft Dahlin on June 22 in Dallas. The Swede, perhaps the best defense prospect in decades, is the runaway No. 1 choice. No one else is close.
Still, Dahlin, whose future was decided April 28 at the NHL Draft Lottery, wouldn’t acknowledge the Sabres plan to select him.
“Nothing is done, yeah, wait and see until that draft, what’s coming up,” he said. “Yeah, if I’m coming here, I would love to be here. I hear they have great fans and everyone loves hockey here. It seems like Buffalo is a great city.”
Naturally, Dahlin, met with the Sabres this week, although he said coach Phil Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, didn’t attend. General manager Jason Botterill, however, was in the meeting.
“It was like all the other meetings,” Dahlin said. “Yeah, it was great. It was all fun in that meeting, it was pretty good.”
The Swede knows of Housley’s career from watching highlights on the internet.
“I saw some clips (Thursday), I saw some moves he did,” Dahlin said. “It was pretty awesome to see, a skilled player.”
In other news, the Sabres have relinquished the rights to 2016 draft picks Vojtech Budik Brandon Hagel and Austin Osmanski. Today was the deadline to sign them.