Owen Power, Matty Beniers and Kent Johnson each announced Friday that they will return to Michigan for the 2021-22 season.
Power was the No. 1 overall selection in July’s 2021 NHL Draft by Buffalo, while Beniers was selected No. 2 by Seattle and Johnson No. 5 by Columbus.
The trio will be joined by three other first-round selections on the Wolverines roster, including incoming freshmen Luke Hughes (No. 4, New Jersey) and Mackie Samoskevich (No. 24, Florida), junior Johnny Beecher (No. 30, 2019, Boston) and sophomore Brendan Brisson (No. 29, 2020, Vegas), along with five other NHL draft picks.
Power was the top-scoring rookie defenseman in the Big Ten last season with 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 26 games. He becomes the first No. 1 overall pick in 15 years (Eric Johnson, Minnesota, 2006) to return to college rather than play in the NHL, according to ESPN.
Selected as the first draft pick of the expansion Kraken, Beniers led the Big Ten in on-ice rating in his freshman campaign with a +21. He scored 10 goals and 14 assists in 24 games and ranked fourth in the NCAA in rookie points per game.
Johnson made his debut with Michigan last season with a four-assist game Nov. 14 against Arizona State. He was second on the team in scoring with 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in 26 games.