Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres have traded the first of their big-three trade pieces this offseason, as Rasmus Ristolainen goes to the Philadelphia Flyers for a first round pick in Friday's NHL Draft and a second round pick in 2023. Buffalo also gets defenseman Robert Hägg in the deal.
The first round pick Friday night will be the 13th pick (14th overall), because Arizona forfeited their first round pick (11th overall) this season due to league violations.
The Sabres took Ristolainen eighth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft and played 542 games with the Sabres, scoring 46 goals and 199 assists for 245 points. The defenseman will turn 27 right after the season starts.
Hägg is a good third pair defenseman who was taken in the second round of the same draft as Ristolainen. He has spent his whole career with the Flyers, playing 236 games with 13 goals and 34 assists for 47 points. Hagg is 26-years-old had has one more year left on a contract that has a $1.6 million salary cap hit.
Ristolainen was a player that was always very honest, which was much appreciated. The last few years he’s been very outspoken about not being on a playoff team and how he wanted to be on a playoff team, whether it’s in Buffalo or somewhere else. He was outspoken and frustrated with the path of the Sabres.
Buffalo now has picks No. 1 and No. 13 in Friday’s first round, and 11 picks overall in the 2021 draft.
***Photo: Micheline Michaelina (@MiMiV4682)