Nikita Zadorov couldn't stop smiling after the Sabres selected him Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres grab defensemen early to start busy draft day, only pull off minor trade

NEWARK, N.J. – It was “pretty close,” general manager Darcy Regier said. The rebuilding Buffalo Sabres could’ve moved up to the No. 5 slot during the NHL Entry Draft, perhaps picked a familiar name the team’s fans had been drooling over.

Ultimately, however, the Sabres decided trading with Carolina wasn’t worth the steep cost. Instead, they kept the eighth overall pick, grabbing big defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen to start their busy day.

“We just thought we’d ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov talks with the media this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier says Sabres were close to grabbing fifth pick; Andrej Sekera traded to Carolina

NEWARK, N.J. – How close were the Buffalo Sabres, who owned the eighth and 16th picks in the NHL Entry Draft, to moving up and grabbing the fifth overall pick?

“Pretty close,” Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said this afternoon inside the Prudential Center.

Carolina chose slick Swedish forward Elias Lindholm at No. 5. The Sabres kept their picks and took defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov.

The Sabres couldn’t have moved up any ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen speaks with reporters this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ first pick Rasmus Ristolainen believes he can play in NHL right away

NEWARK, N.J. – Rasmus Ristolainen figured he would be selected somewhere around the 10th and 15th picks during the NHL Entry Draft this afternoon.  So when the Buffalo Sabres called his name with the No. 8 choice, the Finn was a bit stunned.

“I don’t know what I’m thinking when I heard my name,” Ristolainen said inside the Prudential Center. “It’s awesome.”

The 18-year-old, who spent the last two seasons playing with TPS ... Read the full article