The 2021 offseason has been turned up to 10 for all teams across the National Hockey League.
Protection lists for the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft are due to the league offices by 5 p.m. ET this Saturday, July 17, the Expansion Draft commences on Wednesday, July 21 and Round 1 of the 2021 NHL Draft kicks off next Friday, July 23.
TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger joined "The Instigators" on Friday amidst the flurry of activity around the NHL for his weekly appearance on WGR.
Dreger ended his appearance with a mic drop, of sorts, and added more to the speculation regarding the future of Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Risotlainen. Dreger said with Andrew Peters, Craig Rivet and Martin Biron the trade market for Ristolainen has heated up.
"There's teams digging in on him," he explained. "The [Sabres'] ask is a good young defenseman and a high draft pick coming back. That might be more than teams are willing to stomach. I can't tell you which teams are most interested... I just know that there are a couple. Maybe Ristolainen goes before [Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart]."
Ristolainen has spent his entire eight-year career with the Sabres since being drafted eighth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. The 26-year-old has tallied 245 points (46+199) so far in 542 career games.
Dreger also provided some more insight on the trade markets for both Eichel and Reinhart. He said at least one of the two Sabres forwards will be dealt in the upcoming future.
"There's a market for Sam, for sure. There's a market for Jack, for sure," Dreger said. "I don't expect that Buffalo is going to have to lower their asking price. I think one will be traded, I'm just not sure."
Both Eichel and Reinhart have been the subject of trade rumors throughout the course of the offseason.
You can listen to Dreger's entire interview with "The Instigators" below: