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Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 6:29 PM

By Connor Mellas -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Sabres address size, defense at draft

NEWARK, N.J. -- With the eighth and 16th picks of the 2013 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres addressed two needs: defense and size.

"We want to become bigger. We want to become physical. The game's moving that way now," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Sunday after making the selections.

The Sabres took Rasmus Ristolainen, a 6-foot-3, 201-pound Finnish defenseman with the eighth pick. In 2012-13, Ristolainen, 18, played 52 games for TPS in SM-liiga, recording three goals, 12 assists, 15 points and 32 penalty minutes.

Buffalo then used the 16th pick to draft 18-year-old Russian defenseman Nikita Zadorav of the London Knights. Zadorav (6-foot-4, 200-pounds) had six goals, 19 assists, 25 points and 54 penalty minutes in 63 games in 2012-13.

"Both big and a little bit different skill set," Regier said, describing Buffalo's picks. "Ristolainen is a little more on the physical side. Zadorov is a little more on the skill side. But they're both skilled, they're both vicious."

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There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

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