Sabres sign Ristolainen to 6-year, $32.4 million contract

October 11, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a six-year, $32.4 million contract.

Ristolainen was a restricted free agent whose rights were retained by the Sabres, and the signing was completed Tuesday, two days before Buffalo opens the regular season hosting the Montreal Canadiens.

In just three NHL seasons, the 21-year-old Ristolainen has become Buffalo's top defenseman since being selected in the first round of the 2013 draft. Last year, Ristolainen led the team in averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game, and led Buffalo defensemen with 41 points (nine goals, 32 assists).

Ristolainen represented Finland in the World Cup of Hockey and then reported to Sabres training camp. He practiced with the team but was not allowed to play in preseason games.