Published by hockeybuzz,com, 7-15-2018
Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill is beginning to kick it in gear with his restricted free agents. On Thursday the Sabres and Sean Malone agreed to a one-year, two way deal and it was announced today that Buffalo also came to terms with both Nicholas Baptiste and Danny O'Regan.
The soon to be 23 yr. old Baptiste, who was selected in the third round (69th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, was signed to a one-year, two-way contract at his qualifying offer of $787,500. Baptiste has a lot going for him with his size (6'1" 205 lbs.) and his exceptional speed and skills augmented by a very nice repertoire of shots that he can score from anywhere with. However his pro career thus far has been marked by inconsistencies.
Look for Baptiste to have every opportunity to make it with the Sabres in a top-nine role as he is no longer waiver-exempt and it's doubtful that Botterill would send him down and risk losing him to waivers.
O'Regan came to Buffalo via the Evander Kane to San Jose trade. The 5'10" 184 lb. former Boston University standout has excelled at the AHL level but struggle a bit in the NHL and is waivers-exempt. He also signed a one-year, two-way deal which will pay him his qualifying offer of $874, 125 at the NHL level.
Botterill has three more restricted free agents left to sign, Sam Reinhart, C.J. Smith and Justin Bailey from a list that started out at six.