The Buffalo Sabres this morning awarded defenseman Rasmus Dahlin the richest contract in franchise history, an eight-year, $88 million deal.
The extension will kick in for the 2024-25 season. Dahlin, 23, has one year remaining on his three-year, $18 million deal.
Only one defenseman, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Erik Karlsson, has a higher salary cap hit in 2024-25 – $11.5 million – than Dahlin’s $11 million. The Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty also has an $11 million hit.
When training camp opened last month, general manager Kevyn Adams said he had ramped up talks with Dahlin’s representatives.
Dahlin, the first overall pick in 2018, has developed into one of the NHL’s elite defenseman over the past two years.
In 2022-23, the Swede registered earned his second straight spot in the NHL All-Star Game and registered 73 points, the third-highest total by a defender in franchise history. He also became the first Sabres defenseman since Alexei Zhitnik in 1997-98 to score 15 or more goals.
He’s one of 12 NHL defensemen who recorded more than 200 points before his 23rd birthday.
Dahlin is the latest member of the Buffalo’s young core to sign a contract extension in the last 14 months, joining center Tage Thompson, defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and center Dylan Cozens.
Check back for more later.