BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, a first-round pick in this year's draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The deal with Ristolainen, the No. 8 pick, was announced Friday night shortly after Ristolainen and his teammates completed a scrimmage at the First Niagara Center.
Ristolainen was the first of two defensemen selected by the Sabres in the first round. Russian prospect Nikita Zadorov was taken with the No. 16 choice.
Ristolainen, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound Finnish prospect, has been participating at Buffalo's development camp and is expected to compete for a roster spot with the Sabres next season.
He had three goals, 12 assists, and 32 penalty minutes in 52 games with Finland's TPS this past season.
After the scrimmage head coach Ron Rolston said "We're actually to the point now where guys are looking around and seeing
signings and young players and they're saying you know I've got to compete now and I think that's what you're going to see at camp."
Wiliamsville native Justin Bailey, one of three Sabres second round draft choices said doing well in the scrimmage helped his confidence."As the game went on I started to get more and more confidence. And I was able to really get my feet wet in the beginning and get my game rolling."