The Sabres Prospects Challenge opened tonight and was surely exciting to many as first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin was making his first game appearance in Buffalo since the draft. The 18-year-old phenom, whose arrival in Buffalo has given Sabres fans great hope for the upcoming season, hit the ice Thursday with the rest of the 27-man prospect roster for a practice.
Then on Friday, he jumped on the ice for warmups ahead of the prospect challenge contestagainst the New Jersey Devils at HarborCenter. Boston, New Jersey and Pittsburgh are in town for the three-game, round-robin style prospect event.
The Bruins' prospects were not playing this evening, but it did not prevent them from taking a look at the 18-year-old boy wonder. Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic managed to snap a shot of many Bruins prospects "spying" on the promising prospect ahead of the game against the Devils.
“I have to play good to make the team,” Dahlin said to The Athletic on Thursday in HarborCenter. “I’m going to try as hard as I can, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m going to do my best. That’s all I can say.”
The kid is quite humble, and probably did not notice that all eyes were on him, including the ones of prospects from a rival team. But you have to admit the boy's got quite the resume:
"Dahlin had 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists), 30 hits and 36 blocked shots in 41 games for Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League last season. He became the highest-scoring under-18 defenseman in the history of the SHL, the country's top professional league, with 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 67 games over two full seasons. He was named best defenseman at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, with six assists for Sweden, and was the youngest player by seven years on his country's roster for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics." - per NHL.com.
During the game, fans were excited to see Dahlin in action, reacting to his every move, as you can see in the video below. Fans are going nuts as he just finishes a check during the first period of the contest.
The Sabres prospects play again at 7 p.m. Saturday against Boston.