Lawrence Pilut produced points in 2017-18. ©2018, Hickling Images

Report: Sabres to sign Swedish defenseman Lawrence Pilut

BUFFALO – The Sabres will likely have at least one Swedish defenseman in their arsenal next season.

The team has agreed to a contract with Lawrence Pilut, a high-scoring defender from the Swedish Hockey League, according to HockeyPuls.se, a Swedish hockey web site.

The 5-foot-11, 179-pound Pilut, 22, scored eight goals and 38 points in 52 games with HV71 this season.

The deal hasn’t officially been announced. Right now, Pilut is still skating with Sweden’s national team, according to the site.

“Lawrence has not signed with an NHL team yet but is now choosing between three clubs,” Patrik Aronsson, Pilut’s agent, told HockeyPuls.se. “We will meet after the weekend.”

Of course, the real prize for the Sabres would be winning Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery and the right to select Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. By virtue of their last-place finish, the Sabres have the highest odds, just 18.5 percent, at the No. 1 pick.

Still, Pilut offers the Sabres an intriguing talent. He compiled more assists and points than any SHL defenseman this season, helping him earn the Borje Salming Trophy as the league’s best native-born defender.

The Sabres also looked to Europe last year to improve their weak blue line, signing Russian defenseman Victor Antipin to a one-year deal.

In other news, former Sabres center Jacob Josefson has signed a four-year contract to return home to Sweden and play with Djurgården, an SHL team.

Josefson, 27, battled an ankle injury in 2017-18, his only season with the Sabres, compiling two goals and four points in 39 games.

He can get out of the contract after two years to go to the NHL, KHL or Swiss League, according to the team.

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