Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams made his intentions clear regarding the long-term futures of defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power when he spoke to the media at the end of last season.

“There’s a process that you go through,” Adams said. “But I couldn’t imagine those two not part of us long-term.”

The process came to its conclusion Wednesday. The Sabres signed Power to a seven-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $8.35 million, two days after Dahlin signed an eight-year deal that will keep him in Buffalo through the 2031-32 season.

The Sabres now have five core players under the age of 26 on long-term contracts. In addition to Dahlin and Power, forwards Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens and defenseman Mattias Samuelsson all signed seven-year extensions last season.

Power established himself as one of those core players during a rookie season that saw him log historic minutes for a 20-year-old defenseman. He led rookies in average time on ice (23:48) and ranked fifth among all NHL skaters in total even-strength ice time (1,634:47).

Power averaged 20:44 at even strength, the highest mark by an NHL rookie since the league started tracking the statistic during the 1997-98 season. He was named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year.

Coaches and teammates marveled at the defenseman’s poise through it all, one of the traits that made him the first-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

"What he does on a nightly basis is just amazing when you factor in his age and lack of experience in our league, to dominate situations and really full games the way he does,” coach Don Granato said in January, after Power became the first rookie defenseman in Sabres history to score in three straight games.

The Sabres owned a 52.2-percent share of 5-on-5 shot attempts with Power on the ice last season. He ranked fifth on the team with a plus-10 rating.

While his defensive poise was a trademark of his game at the time of his draft, Power quickly established himself as an offensive threat and a steady quarterback on the power play. He led rookie defensemen in assists (31), points (35), and individual scoring chances (100).

The Sabres generated 74.41 expected goals when Power was on the ice at 5-on-5, first among league rookies by nearly 20 (according to Natural Stat Trick).

Dahlin, a fellow No. 1 pick, consistently praised Power for the way he handled his introduction to the NHL.

"He does so much out there that he doesn't get credit for," Dahlin said in April. "He's always at the right spot at the right time. He barely makes any mistakes. He never gets tired playing that way. It just looks like he's floating around there but he's so smart. He's always at the right spot.”

The Sabres open the season at home Thursday against the New York Rangers. Limited tickets are available here.