Chuck Fletcher isn’t waiting around. The Philadelphia Flyers made another trade on Friday afternoon. Rasmus Ristolainen has been on their radar and he’s coming to Philadelphia.
🚨 TRADE ALERT! 🚨
We have acquired defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for our first round pick (13th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft, a second round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and defenseman Robert Hagg. Details: https://t.co/UOBqWNQCm6 pic.twitter.com/vCrkLgY0Mt
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 23, 2021
Here’s a snippet on Rasmus Ristolainen from our piece earlier today:
Ristolainen, 26, is a bottom-four right defenseman. He’s big (6-foot-4, 218 lbs) and hits, but that’s about it. He might be a serviceable partner for Travis Sanheim, but there are better options out there. The tall defenseman has a cap hit of $5.4 million and is a free agent next summer.
Ristolainen is a slight upgrade from Robert Hagg.
Hagg, 26, is a decent sixth or seventh defenseman on a competitive team. For the Sabres, he might be a second or third-pair guy.
The Flyers cleared cap space on Thursday by trading Shayne Gostisbehere and two draft picks to the Arizona Coyotes. That cleared Gostisbehere’s $4.5 million cap hit. Ristolainen has a $5.4 million cap hit while Hagg has a $1.6 million cap hit. Both Ristolainen and Hagg have one year left on their contracts.
Here is the press release, via the Flyers:
The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for the Flyers’ own first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, their own second-round pick in the 2023 draft, and defenseman Robert Hagg, according to President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Chuck Fletcher.
“We are extremely happy to add Rasmus to our blueline,” said Fletcher. “He is a 26-year-old, right shot defenseman who will immediately add grit to our team. His size, mobility and physicality will make him an important piece to our group going forward.”
Ristolainen, 26 (10/27/1994), has played his entire 542-game career with the Sabres dating back to his debut during the 2013-14 season. He has appeared in all but 27 of Buffalo’s games over the past seven seasons. Ristolainen appeared in 49 games last year, posting four goals and 14 assists for 18 points along with 36 PIM.
A 6-4, 218-lb native of Turku, Finland, Ristolainen was selected by the Sabres in the first round (8th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Hagg made his NHL debut with the Flyers on April 9, 2017 and appeared in 235 more games for the club over the next four seasons. He scored 13 goals and added 34 assists for 47 points, along with 143 PIM. A 6-2, 204-lb native of Uppsala, Sweden, Hagg was selected by the Flyers in the second round (41st overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.