Ex-Sabres Defender Is Top Trade Candidate

This former Sabre is a player to watch in the trade market.

Leading up to the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline, former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen generated plenty of buzz in the rumor mill. However, a ruptured tendon in his triceps took away his season in mid-February, ending all trade speculation.

However, with Ristolainen getting surgery last month and expected to be ready to go for training camp, interest in his services has the potential to pick up again. The 29-year-old was having a solid year for the Flyers before his injury, and teams around the NHL are always on the hunt for big right-shot defensemen who play with an edge and can handle a lot of minutes.

Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Ristolainen

Ristolainen generated interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks during the 2023-24 campaign.

Ristolainen appeared in 31 games this season with the Flyers, posting one goal, four points, 56 hits, and 45 blocks. While he is no longer a significant threat offensively at this point of his career, his defensive game has dramatically improved in Philly. As a result, it would not be surprising if he generated interest again this summer.

Ristolainen carries a $5.1 million cap hit until the end of the 2026-27 season. If the Flyers retain a portion of his salary, they could get a decent return for the 6-foot-4 defender.

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