Ristolainen goes from Sabers to Flyers


Rasmus Ristolainen was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers by the Buffalo Sabers, who in return get the defenseman Robert hagg, as well as a first-round pick (14th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft and a second-round pick in 2023.

The Sabers also hold the first overall pick in the 2021 Draft, the first round of which is Friday (8 p.m. ET; TVAS, SN, SN NOW, ESPN2). Buffalo has 11 Draft picks, which continues Saturday with Rounds 2-7 (11 a.m. ET; SN, SN NOW, NHLN).

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“I’m excited to go to Philadelphia,” Ristolainen said. I will do everything I can to help the team make the playoffs and go far. I am extremely happy that this has happened. I can’t wait to get to Philadelphia and meet everyone. « 

Ristolainen has 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in 49 games with the Sabers this season. The defenseman has one more season to go on the six-year contract worth $ 32.4 million (average annual value of $ 5.4 million) he initialed with the Sabers on Oct. 11, 2016.

“We are very happy to add Rasmus to our blue line,” said Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher. “He’s a 26-year-old right-handed defenseman who will immediately add strength to our team. His size (6 feet 4 inches, 221 pounds), his mobility and his robustness will make him an important part of our team for the future. « 

Ristolainen could become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the next campaign. Fletcher has indicated that it’s too early to say if the Flyers are going to get him to sign a contract before.

“It’s difficult to negotiate with the salary cap right now,” said Fletcher. The cap is fixed so I don’t know if it will be the right time, but we certainly see Ristolainen as a player who has a very good chance of being part of our future. This is something that we will analyze in due course. Depending on the salary cap and our situation, we will want to do certain things at the appropriate time. « 

Selected by Buffalo in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2013 Draft, Ristolainen had 245 points (46 goals, 199 assists) in 542 NHL games, including 111 points (14 goals, 97 assists) on power play.

Video: BUF @ NYI: Ristolainen hits the mark in the 3rd period

The Sabers (15-34-7) finished last in the NHL this season. They did not make the Stanley Cup playoffs in Ristolainen’s eight seasons with them.

“Obviously we’ve had some really tough years at Buffalo,” said Ristolainen. I played an important role there because I was one of the leaders. We couldn’t make the playoffs, and that’s never good. And of course when that happens you have to make changes and swap players. « 

Hagg has five points (two goals, three assists) in 34 games with the Flyers this season. The Swedish full-back will also end the last year of his two-year contract worth $ 3.2 million (average annual value of $ 1.6 million) signed with Philadelphia on September 28, 2020. He could become a player. autonomous without compensation thereafter.

Philadelphia’s second-round pick (41st overall) in 2013, Hagg had 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists) in 236 regular season games. He added three assists in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The Flyers (25-23-8) took sixth place in the East MassMutual section this season, and they did not make the playoffs. They traded defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and two 2022 Draft picks to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday for future considerations and acquired full-back Ryan Ellis in a trade with the Nashville Predators, July 17, relinquishing defenseman Philippe Myers and center Nolan Patrick.

“We think we have a really good mix of defensemen now,” Fletcher added. We have good veterans and great stability on the defense. Whenever a player is placed in the right chair with the right players around them, they have a much better chance of improving. We are obviously counting on that. And we love what Ristolainen brings. There is still a big room for big and tough players, and he is a player who has been able to put in points on the board. He skates well and he moves the puck. « 

* With contributions from NHL.com Assistant Editorial Director Adam Kimelman.


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