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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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This is a great day for me. This is something I've been thinking about for a long time. This is a great opportunity that the St. Louis Blues organization, (owner) Tom Stillman and Doug Armstrong are giving me and trusting me in doing...This is going to be a great challenge for me.

— Martin Brodeur, after announcing his retirement as an NHL player and becoming a senior adviser with the Blues on Thursday