Three teams that might be interested in Ristolainen
Edmonton Oilers – Acquiring Ristolainen would lessen the pressure on some of their prospects like Evan Bouchard who may not be ready for top-four minutes yet. A Ristolainen for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins trade?
Winnipeg Jets – The Jets have moved on from Tyler Myers and Jacob Trouba on the right side. The Jets aren’t deep down the middle and may not want to move Bryan Little. Could they offer Jack Roslovic plus? Nikolaj Ehlers isn’t a center but would be good value.
Tampa Bay Lightning – The Lightning could use a right-handed defenseman. They’ve had Mikhail Sergachev playing the right side, and Erik Cernak higher up in the lineup than he possibly should be. They have cap concerns and would need to move out salary. Tyler Johnson could be the perfect fit for the Sabres but GM Julien BriseBois has been reluctant to trade him.
A Ristolainen trade could end up being a multiplayer swap
Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News: wonders if a Rasmus Ristolainen will be a bigger deal and not just a one-for-one. A deal could involve the Sabres sending a couple of other players and getting potentially three or four assets back.
The Sabres have a surplus of right-handed defensemen and left-wingers and are a little thin down the middle and on the right side.
Sabres GM Jason Botterill has already made an offseason trade with the Vegas Golden Knights (Colin Miller for a 2021 2nd and 2022 5th round pick). What about RFA Nikita Gusev who could fit in the Sabres top-six and reportedly may only cost a 2nd round pick?