The Buffalo Sabres were said to be seeking another first-round pick for tonight’s NHL Draft and it looks like they pulled it off.
The Sabres have been shopping forwards Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart along with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and it looks like the latter is the one getting them a second first-round pick tonight.
According to several sources, Ristolainen is going to Philadelphia in a package deal that includes the Sabres getting the 13th pick in the draft along with Robert Hagg, a left-shot defenseman. It also includes a second pick in 2023 going to Buffalo.
The Flyers held the 13th overall selection tonight.
This is quite a deal that is getting pulled off by Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams as Ristolainen is set to become a free agent after this upcoming season, making $5.4 million next year.
The Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets were reportedly also in the mix, but we bet they didn’t want to give up a first-round pick for Ristolainen. The Flyers were clearly the Sabres' best option.
Ristolainen was drafted in the first round (8th overall) in 2013 NHL by the Sabres. He recorded four goals and 18 points in 64 games in Buffalo last season. In 542 career NHL games, Ristolainen has 46 goals and 245 points.
As for Hagg, who is now a member of the Sabres, he appeared in 34 games for Philly last season, scoring two goals and adding three assists. He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Flyers after being selected in the second round (No. 41 overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft. He has a year left on his contract at a $1.6M cap hit and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer 2022.