How former Michigan hockey players fared in their NHL debuts

A pair of former Wolverines made their NHL debuts on Tuesday night. Owen Power and Matty Beniers kicked off their NHL careers with the Buffalo Sabers and Seattle Kraken, respectively.

The Buffalo Sabers selected Owen Power No. 1 overall in the 2021 NHL Draft. Power returned to Michigan for his sophomore season and is now officially a Saber following the conclusion of the 2021-22 college hockey season.

Despite not recording a point in his first-career game with the Sabers, Power had a very productive night in a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 19-year-old spent 19:50 on the ice, and finished with a +/- of 2. Power also recorded a blocked shot, a hit and a takeaway.

Perhaps Power’s most impressive play came early in the first period when the rookie broke up a 2-on-1 Toronto rush.

Power was even honored in the locker room following the 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs.

Beniers also had a successful debut. The Kraken lost, 5-3, to the Calgary Flames, but Beniers was a bright spot.

The Kraken drafted Beniers with the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s NHL Draft. Much like Power, Beniers returned to Michigan for his sophomore season. With the conclusion of the college season, Beniers joined the Kraken.

The 19-year-old spent 17:10 on the ice, and recorded his first-ever NHL point. Beniers was credited with the primary assist on the game’s opening goal.

Beniers also recorded a hit and a takeaway in the loss. He gave his thoughts following his debut.

Former Wolverines Kent Johnson and Nick Blankenburg are set to make their debuts for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens.

Johnson was selected by the Blue Jackets with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, and Blankenburg was signed to a one-year entry-level deal. TMBR will have updates on Johnson and Blankenburg after their debuts.

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