The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a six-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.4 million.
"Rasmus has already proven to be a pivotal player on our blue line and we are eager to have him back with the team," Sabres General Manager Tim Murray said. "This deal is a reflection of the hard work and improvement Rasmus has shown since being drafted, and we hope to see him continue on this trajectory moving forward."
Ristolainen (age 21, 6'4", 207 pounds) established new career-highs and led all Sabres defensemen in games played (82), goals (9), assists (32) and points (41) last season. He also ranked 10th in the NHL with an average time on ice per game of 25:16, and ninth among NHL defensemen with 202 shots. In September, he represented Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, tallying six shots and averaging 23:02 of ice time in three tournament games.
Since being drafted by the Sabres in the first round (8th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Ristolainen has played in three NHL seasons. A native of Turku, Finland, Ristolainen has recorded 65 points (19 goals, 46 assists) and 65 penalty minutes in 194 career games.