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Buffalo Sabres sign first-round pick defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen to entry-level deal

Friday, 07.12.2013 / 9:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen, a first-round pick in this year's draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The deal with Ristolainen, the No. 8 pick, was announced Friday night.

Ristolainen was the first of two defencemen selected by the Sabres in the first round. Russian prospect Nikita Zadorov was taken with the No. 16 choice.

Ristolainen, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound Finnish prospect, has been participating at Buffalo's development camp and is expected to compete for a roster spot with the Sabres next season.

He had three goals, 12 assists, and 32 penalty minutes in 52 games with Finland's TPS this past season.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery