BUFFALO Youth Dustin Byfuglien Jersey , N.Y. (AP) Rasmus Dahlin wasn’t kidding about how hockey has become his sole obsession.No more than an hour after completing his introductory news conference in Buffalo on Monday, the NHL’s No. 1 overall draft pick had already changed into a yellow Sabres practice uniform and, with stick in hand, was on his way to hit the ice with a number of fellow prospects.Finally, after a monthlong pre-draft process of interviews, testing and cross-country travel that culminated in hearing his name called first from the podium in Dallas on Friday, Dahlin was back in his element.”I used to play some golf and hang out with friends, but, yeah, I love to play hockey and that’s my 100 percent thing I usually do,” the 18-year-old Swedish defenseman said. ”I’m a pretty boring guy.”Off the ice, maybe.On the ice, Dahlin is considered anything but boring with a heads-up, smooth-skating and play-making style that has already drawn comparisons to elite Swedish defensemen such as Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson and former Detroit Red Wings star Nicklas Lidstrom.In Buffalo, he’s already captured the imagination of a win-starved base of fans, many of whom started submitting orders for Dahlin’s No. 26 Sabres jersey moments after he formally pulled one on to close the news conference.And yet, amid the buzz Dahlin has generated since the Sabres won the NHL draft lottery in April http://www.officialhockeyjetsshop.com/authentic-adidas-jacob-trouba-jer… , it’s unrealistic to presume one player alone can turn around a franchise that has finished last in three of the past five years, not made the playoffs since 2011 and not won a playoff series since 2007.”I don’t actually think that way,” Dahlin said of whether he feels the weight of expectations on his 6-foot-2, 181-pound frame. ”I’ll bring everything I can to this team and, yeah, try to win hockey games. That’s what I think about.”General manager Jason Botterill was quick to interject once Dahlin completed his answer.”He doesn’t need to be the savior,” Botterill said, before listing the talented young group of players already on Buffalo’s roster, including forward Jack Eichel.”Look, we certainly have to have better results on the ice,” he said. ”But we’re certainly excited to bring Rasmus into our core group here and how they can grow together.”On a day dedicated to Dahlin, Botterill struck an upbeat tone in steering away most questions that featured any hint of negativity.Concerns still abound for Botterill entering his second summer on the job.The Sabres have no established depth in goal after last week’s decision to not re-sign third-year starter Robin Lehner.Offense remains an issue on a team that’s not had a player score 30 goals or 70 points since Jason Pominville in 2011-12, during his first stint in Buffalo.Their payroll structure is out of balance for a losing team, with six players set to make a base salary of $5 million or more, including Eichel, whose eight-year, $80 million contract kicks in this season.Culture remains a question after center Ryan O’Reilly suggested the team adopted a losing mindset last season.Rather than worry how a gloomy culture might affect newcomers such as Dahlin Austin Czarnik Jersey Womens , Botterill is counting on Buffalo’s youngsters to begin changing the atmosphere.”We’re not expecting them to lead the room, but we’re expecting them to bring their positive attributes, their competitiveness to that group,” Botterill said.”It’s what we challenged our players at the end of the season. They had to change how they trained. They had to change how they approach the games,” he added. ”The beauty of the National Hockey League is that you can make adjustments, you can make jumps in the standings fairly quickly.”Botterill chuckled when Dahlin said he was already looking forward to playing Buffalo’s cross-border rival Toronto next season.”The question was asked to me before about changing the culture, changing our results on the ice,” Botterill said. ”That’s what we need to bring, players who are very competitive, who want to make a difference.”NOTES: The Sabres will open a four-day rookie development camp Wednesday. … Botterill says the Sabres won’t buy out the final year of Matt Moulson’s contract, but adds the veteran forward won’t play in Buffalo. Moulson spent most of last season on loan to AHL Ontario.— DENVER (AP) — For a brief moment, the Minnesota Wild lost track of the super speedy Nathan MacKinnon.That’s all it took. MacKinnon had a tap-in goal off a nifty pass from Mikko Rantanen to give Colorado the lead, Semyon Varlamov stopped 20 shots and the Avalanche beat the Wild 4-1 on Thursday night in the opener for both teams.“His vision is awesome,” MacKinnon said of his linemate. “I just drove the net and Mikko made a great play.”Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk didn’t have much of a chance on MacKinnon’s second-period goal that gave Colorado a 2-1 advantage. Rantanen skated down the left side and sent a pass through a sea of sticks to MacKinnon, who tapped it in before Dubnyk had a chance to fully turn his head.“He was in a good place and he made a good play,” Dubnky said.Wild coach Bruce Boudreau offered another explanation.“It’s MacKinnon. He’s going to get a lot of goals like that,” Boudreau said.MacKinnon picked up right where he left off from last season Josh Morrissey Jersey , when he tallied 39 goals and 58 assists on his way to finishing second in the Hart Trophy vote. He led the team in shots Thursday with eight. Carl Soderberg scored, while Rantanen and J.T. Compher added empty-net goals for the Avalanche, who moved to 15-5-3 in home openers since moving to town from Quebec.Varlamov returned to net after missing the playoffs last season with a knee injury he suffered late in the regular season. He made his eighth opening-night start in a burgundy-and-blue sweater, surpassing Patrick Roy for the most by an Avalanche goaltender. This also was Varlamov’s 400th career NHL game.“He’s grown so much as a goalie,” MacKinnon said. “His mindset is he can play a low-shot game and stay sharp, and he was great.”Colorado thought it had a two-goal lead when Colin Wilson scored 1:36 into the third after knocking in a puck out of the air. The goal was reviewed and disallowed after it was determined Wilson’s left glove batted the puck in.No matter, Varlamov protected things with save after save. None bigger than stopping an Eric Staal wrist shot with his right shoulder on a 2-on-1 with just under 5 minutes remaining.Rantanen added an empty-net goal with 1:53 remaining and Compher another in the waning seconds to seal the victory.Colorado outshot the Wild 40-21. Zach Parise gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead on a backhand pass from Mikko Koivu early in the first period. Parise missed the opening 39 games a season ago due to a back ailment that required surgery. After steadily working his way back into form, Parise suffered a broken sternum in the playoffs.Minnesota is coming off a season in which it posted 101 points before losing to Winnipeg in the first round of the playoffs.“There was some sloppiness that’s not going to be seen in game 20,” Boudreau said. “Pucks bouncing over the sticks and over-skating the puck and things of that nature. … I think they did know how quick the pace was going to be, faster than the preseason, but took us a while to get up to it.”As for the Avalanche, general manager Joe Sakic has modest goals this season after his team returned to the postseason for the first time since 2013-14. Their average age this season is 26.3. They ended last season at 25.8.“Our goal is to make the playoffs, but the most important thing for us is to see the growth of this group,” Sakic said. “We’re excited to see who makes that next jump.”NOTES: Wild F Marcus Foligno was tripped by D Tyson Barrie late in the second period. Foligno went to the bench favoring his left leg but returned a few minutes later. … F Vladislav Kamenev (lower body) and D Anton Lindholm (upper body) were taken off injured reserve and reassigned to the Colorado Eagles of the AHL. … Avs F Sheldon Dries made his NHL debut. He had two shots. … Soderberg also had an assist.UP NEXT:Minnesota: Starts a three-game homestand Saturday against Las Vegas.Colorado: Hosts Philadelphia on Saturday.