The New York Islanders have claimed defenseman Joe Finley off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres.
Finley, a first-round pick (No. 27) of the Washington Capitals in the 2005 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut by going scoreless in five games for the Sabres last season, amassing 12 penalty minutes. He had one goal, five points and 81 penalty minutes in 36 games for AHL Rochester this season.
At 6-foot-8 and 249 pounds, Finley provides size and has two years remaining on the three-year, $1.575 million deal he signed with Buffalo prior to the 2011-12 season.
John Vogl, who writes the Sabres Edge blog for the Buffalo News, reports that the Islanders' claiming of Finley could affect what the team does with defense prospect TJ Brennan. Vogl writes the Sabres might be interested in sending Brennan back to Rochester, but he would have to pass through waivers first. Now, with Finley having already been lost, that move seems less likely.
He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.
— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft