The Buffalo Sabres signed Rasmus Dahlin, their restricted free agent defenseman, to a three-year contract worth $18 million, or $6 million per season. This contract carries him through the 2023-24 season.
Buffalo Sabres Signed Rasmus Dahlin
Over his three-year NHL career, Dahlin has played only for the Sabres. Originally drafted in the first round, first overall of the 2018 NHL draft by Buffalo, the 21-year old will be sticking with the franchise. His career totals sit at 18 goals and 89 assists for 107 total points in 197 games.
Without diving in too deep, its safe to say the Sabres have been abysmal for most of the last decade. Their struggles seem to bottom out annually, yet somehow the team reaches a new low each season. In 2020-21, they finished dead last in the entire NHL, with 37 points and a 15-34-7 record. The franchise fired coach Ralph Krueger in March, and hired interim coach Don Granato to serve the position full-time beginning in 2021-22. Both coaches ran the bench for 28 games last season, but won just six and nine games each, respectively. That being said, the team looked better overall with Granato, and they’re hoping those effects carry over next year.
What This Means for the Future
The biggest hope any Sabres fan has right now is that Don Granato can get Dahlin’s development back on track. After a stellar 44-point rookie season (nine goals, 35 assists), he finished third in Calder Memorial Trophy votes for the league’s rookie of the year. Then, he racked up 40 points (four goals, 40 assists) in just 59 games in his sophomore season. He looked to be trending up-and-up.
Shortly after, the Sabres fell apart in 2020-21, and Dahlin along with them. He scored just five goals and 18 assists in 56 games, barely half of the production he posted a year prior. His possession metrics still appear strong, with a 54.5% Corsi-for and a relative Corsi of 12.2%. That’s despite going minus-36 on the league’s worst team, so clearly there’s plenty of positives in his personal game still. If the Sabres are going to right the ship, it’ll take all hands pulling the rope the right way to do so. As a recent first overall draft pick, expectations are that Dahlin is a major part of the solution here for the Sabres.