Sabres win lopsided deal; trade D Rasmus Ristolainen to Flyers for Robert Hagg and 14th overall pick

General Manager Kevyn Adams was expecting to wheel and deal today ahead of the draft and he’s got one big trade in. Somehow he managed to get a boatload for Rasmus Ristolainen without retaining any salary.

The Buffalo Sabres acquired a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft (14th overall), a second-round pick in 2023 and defenseman Robert Hagg from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

“We are extremely happy to add Rasmus to our blue line,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “He is a 26-year-old, right shot defenseman who will immediately add grit to our team. His size (6-foot-4, 221 pounds), mobility and physicality will make him an important piece to our group going forward.”


The Sabres already were set to select No. 1 overall in Friday’s draft. They have 11 selections overall and seven in the top 100.

Sabres trade Rasmus Ristolainen

RASMUS Ristolainen traded to flyers
Mar 24, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) takes the ice to warm up against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

To line up those draft picks, the Sabres gave up Ristolainen, who was the No. 8 overall pick in 2013. In 542 games with Buffalo, he had 245 points (46 goals, 199 assists) — good for sixth among defensemen in club history.

Hagg, 26, had 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists) in 236 games since the Flyers selected him in the second round of the 2013 draft. In 34 games last season, he tallied five points (two goals, three assists).

Hagg is signed through the 2021-22 season with a salary of $1.6 million. Ristolainen is entering the final year of a six-year contract worth $5.4 million in annual average value.

The trade comes a day after the Flyers sent defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, plus a second-round and a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, to the Arizona Coyotes for future considerations.

So what will Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart fetch? Stay tuned.

–Field Level Media