Though it doesn’t seem like he has much to prove, Rasmus Dahlin will be in Buffalo next week for the NHL Scouting Combine, John Vogl of The Buffalo News reports. The Swedish defenseman is expected to go first-overall in the draft to the Buffalo Sabres, after finding himself at the top of almost every scouting list this season. Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers confirms that Andrei Svechnikov, Filip Zadina, Brady Tkachuk, Noah Dobson and Evan Bouchard will all also be present at the event, which combines fitness testing with media availability and team meetings over a week-long period.
While fans enjoy seeing the fitness testing results, they rarely make drastic changes to rankings just before the draft. What may be more important are the meetings teams have with the players to start to understand their personalities and history. Those meetings can also be revealing on how the player plans on pursuing a professional career, whether they’re headed to college or back to Europe in the following seasons.
For Buffalo, it will give them the chance to bring in Dahlin and show him around the facilities that he will likely call home in a few months. The young defenseman is expected to step right into the NHL in 2018-19, and play big minutes for the Sabres as they try to rebound from several disappointing seasons. The other top picks will all meet with teams from all around the league, especially in a draft year that features very little consensus after the top few picks.