Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced Friday that the Sabres signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The Sabres selected Ristolainen (age 18, 6'4", 225 lbs.) with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, making him the team's highest first-round selection since the team selected Thomas Vanek fifth overall in 2003.
"We felt that it was important to get Rasmus under contract quickly so that we could start the development process right away," Regier said. "He's a very mature defenseman for his age, and will have every chance to compete for a roster spot in training camp."
In 2012-13, Ristolainen played for TPS in his native Finland, recording 15 points (3 goals, 12 assists) and 32 penalty minutes in 52 games played. He was also a member of Team Finland at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.