Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Buffalo Sabres have come to terms with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen on a six-year $32.4 million contract.

"Rasmus has already proven to be a pivotal player on our blue line, and we are eager to have him back with the team," Sabres general manager Tim Murray said. "This deal is a reflection of the hard work and improvement Rasmus has shown since being drafted, and we hope to see him continue on this trajectory moving forward."

Ristolainen will turn 22 on Oct. 27. He was the 8th overall pick in the 2013 draft by Buffalo. The 6'4" Finn has 19 goals, 46 assists and 65 points in three seasons with the Sabres. Ristolainen dressed for every game last season and led Buffalo defensemen with nine goals, 32 assists and 41 points. He also led the team in average ice time per game (25:16) and ranked 10th among NHL defensemen.

Ristolainen, a restricted free agent, had been skating with the team in good faith while waiting for a deal to get done.