Flyers Acquire Rasmus Ristolainen From Sabres For 14th Overall Pick Friday Night, 2023 Second-Round Pick, Robert Hagg

Photo: The Athletic

The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Friday afternoon that they have acquired right-handed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for the 14th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft on Friday night (8 PM ET, ESPN2), a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and left-handed defenseman Robert Hagg. Both of the defensemen involved in the deal are 23-years-old.

Ristolainen recorded four goals, 18 points, a -18 rating, a 43.49% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, a 43.71% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and a 44.3% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 49 games last season. In 542 career NHL games, Ristolainen has posted 46 goals, 245 points, and a -163 rating.

Before the 2019-20 season, Ristolainen recorded at least 32 assists and 41 points, respectively, in four consecutive seasons. Though, he has finished with a plus-minus rating better than -15 just twice in his career, including a league-worst -41 in 2018-19.

Ristolainen averaged 22:17 per game last season (leading all Sabres defensemen), including 2:16 on the penalty kill and 1:49 on the power play (both second).

Hagg tallied two goals, five points, a -3 rating, a 53.12% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, a 50.06% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and a 51.86% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage while averaging 15:40 per game (including 1:41 while shorthanded) in 34 games last season. In 236 career NHL games, Hagg has recorded 13 goals, 47 points, and a +13 rating.

Hagg set career-highs in goals (five), assists (15), and points (20), games played (82) in 2018-19.

The Flyers acquired right-handed defenseman Ryan Ellis in a trade with the Nashville Predators on Saturday, where they parted with center Nolan Patrick and right-handed defenseman Philippe Myers.

With the trade, the Flyers find another top-four right-handed defenseman after the team finished the season ranked last in the NHL with a 3.52 goals-against per game average and 30th with a 73.1% penalty-killing rate.

Ristolainen, who carries a $5.4 million cap hit before being eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, finished last season with a Sabres-high 193 hits, 68 blocked-shots (which also ranked first), 11 giveaways (fifth-worst), and 12 giveaways (third-worst).

The Flyers currently have $10,085,477 in cap space with Sanheim (restricted free agent), goaltender Carter Hart (RFA), and left-handed defenseman Sam Morin (unrestricted free agent) up for contract this offseason.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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