BUFFALO, N.Y. — All offseason, the Buffalo Sabres trade speculation centered around Jack Eichel. They made two trades on draft weekend, but Eichel wasn't a part of either one.
Late Friday night, it was reported Buffalo traded Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers. Earlier Friday, hours before the NHL draft, the Sabres traded away Rasmus Ristolainen as another rebuilding effort got underway.
Saturday afternoon, the Sabres confirmed the Reinhart trade to Florida. Buffalo gets a 2022 first round pick and netminder Devon Levi in return.
Following Friday night's first round of the draft, Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams said it would be "inappropriate" to comment on the status of a Reinhart trade at that time.
Reinhart scored 25 goals with 40 points in 54 games in the 2020-2021 season.
Ristolainen was sent to Philadelphia in exchange for the Flyers first round pick in Friday's 2021 NHL Draft (14th overall), a second round pick in the 2023 draft, and defenseman Robert Hagg.
Buffalo chose to protect the Ristolainen and fellow defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju, exposing 24-year-old blueliner Will Borgen to be selected by the Seattle Kraken in Wednesday's NHL Expansion Draft.
In Friday night's NHL Draft, the Sabres did what many people expecting them to do, which was select defenseman Owen Power from the University of Michigan with the No. 1 overall pick.
The 6-foot-6-inch left-handed defenseman will now have to decide with the Sabres organization whether he will return to Michigan for his sophomore season.
The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ontario, was the projected top pick in the draft but said he was leaning toward returning to the Wolverines for one more season.