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Buffalo Sabres select Finnish D Rasmus Ristolainen with 8th pick in NHL draft

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 4:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Buffalo Sabres select Finnish D Rasmus Ristolainen with 8th pick in NHL draft

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Sabres have selected Finnish defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen with the eighth pick in the NHL draft.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 201 pounds, Ristolainen is regarded as a hard-hitting player who also possesses a heavy shot. He had three goals and 15 points in 52 games in his first full season playing for Finland's TPS last season. Ristolainen has also combined for two goals and nine points in 13 games in each of the past two World Junior Championships.

Goran Stubb, the NHL's director of European scouting, described Ristolainen as one of the best young defencemen in Europe in his age group.

The Sabres follow up with another first-round pick, 16th overall, acquired in a trade that sent captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota in April.

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The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres