Philadelphia Flyers get Rasmus Ristolainen from Buffalo Sabres for first-round pick, more

ByGreg Wyshynski ESPN logo
Friday, July 23, 2021
Buffalo Sabres' Rasmus Ristolainen plays against the Boston Bruins during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers continued to aggressively reshape their defense corps, acquiring defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday in a package that included a first-round pick.

In exchange for the 26-year-old defenseman, the Flyers sent the 14th overall pick in Friday night's NHL draft, their second-round pick in 2023 and defenseman Robert Hagg to the Sabres.

Ristolainen has played all eight years of his NHL career with the Sabres, who selected him 8th overall in 2013. He has 245 points in 542 career games. Last season, he had four goals and 14 assists in 49 games, averaging 22 minutes and 17 seconds in ice time per game.

Hagg, 26, played five years with the Flyers. He had five points in 34 games last season, averaging 15:40 in average ice time. The Sabres had been seeking a trade for Ristolainen, who has one more year on his contract with a $5.4 million cap hit before he hits unrestricted free agency. The asking price had been a first-round pick and other assets.

Buffalo now has seven picks in the first 100 selections in this weekend's NHL draft, including two first-rounders: Picking first overall and then taking the 13th player in the draft, as the Arizona Coyotes have to forfeit pick No. 11 and the Sabres now own the 14th pick.

The trade marks the third transaction general manager Chuck Fletcher has made in less than a week involving his blueline. The Flyers acquired Ryan Ellis from the Nashville Predators for center Nolan Patrick and defenseman Philippe Myers; and traded defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to the Arizona Coyotes with two draft picks in a salary dump.