Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed Rasmus Asplund on Friday to a two-year deal worth $1.65 million. At $825,000 per-season, that was a shade less than his qualifying offer, but he sacrificed a tiny bit of money for two years.
The Sabres traded up five places in 2016 to draft Asplund with the 33rd overall pick.
In the 2019-20 season, Asplund played 29 games with the Sabres, but only scored one goal and two assist for three points. Last season, he blossomed under Don Granato scoring seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 28 games.
“I think I felt comfortable enough in my defensive game that I feel comfortable enough to do my thing offensively," Asplund said following the season in his end-of-season conference call. "Obviously 'Donny' has been really, really good to me, giving me a lot of minutes, and that helps too.”
The light seemed to go off for Asplund when he was reunited with his Rochester linemates Casey Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson.
“It was a lot of fun," he said. "We’ve been growing our relationship, and we keep pushing each other every day. We want to get better every day, and we’re never satisfied with our game."
Asplund is 23-years-old, while Thompson is just two months older. Mittelstadt is 22.
Asplund played 108 games with the Rochester Americans before heading to Buffalo. He played three more games this season. Overall, he had 13 goals and 49 assists for 62 points. He said his career has gone pretty much the way he thought it would.
“I think everything went as planned," Asplund said. "When I signed my three-year entry-level, it was the plan to compete for a regular spot by my third year, which it is now. The years I had in 'ROC' [Rochester] helped me a lot (all under Chris Taylor), and I think I grew a lot as a player and understood how hard I need to work and what it takes to become an NHL player.
“When I got a taste of it last year, I realized that it was going to be hard work to be able to reach my goal.”
Buffalo also signed 25-year-old forward Ryan MacInnis on Friday to a one-year deal for $750,000. In 26 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, MacInnis had no goals and one assist.
MacInnis was drafted in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Arizona Coyotes. He’s played 250 AHL games with the Springfield Falcons, Tucson Roadrunners and the Cleveland Monsters.
MacInnis has some familiarity with Granato, as he played for him with the U.S. National Team Development Program.
He is also the son of NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis.