Published by hockeybuzz.com, 7-9-2018
The three-year deal defenseman Rasmus Dahlin signed with the Buffalo Sabres is a pretty standard contract for player of his caliber. Dahlin is max-out as far as the Collective Bargaining Agreement dictates and according to CapFreindly, the breakdown looks like this for the 2018 first overall draft pick: An $832,500 base salary plus a $92,500 signing bonus gives Dahlin a $925,000 cap-hit for all three seasons plus there are performance bonuses each year of $2.85 million that could bring his total salary to $3.775 million/season.
Over the course of the three years the total value of the contract could be as much as $11.325 million and he could be worth every penny.
The Sabres finally got lucky and won the draft lotter giving them the rights to draft a player they despearately needed. Dahlin is considered a franchise defenseman bordering on generational talent who's skating, skill-level and hockey IQ are amongst the best of any player drafted recently with some saying the NHL hasn't seen a defenseman like him since Denis Potvin was drafted first overall by the NY Islanders in 1973.
With the contract inked, Dahlin will hit the ice in Buffalo beginning this season. Most suspect a top-four role as he acclimates himself to the NHL with it's smaller ice surface with the thought that he could possibly start on the top-pairing.
Regardless of that, with Dahlin in the fold in a top-four role the Sabres defense looks like this:
Marco Scandella-Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin-Zach Bogosian
Casey Nelson-Jake McCabe
The wild card in the group is Brendan Guhle who's rookied pro season in Rochester went swimmingly as a top-pair defender until the latter part of the season and into the playoffs where the Amerks got swept 3-0.
That's another aspect of landing Dahlin. Without him, the Sabers may have needed to put Guhle in the lineup to help shore up a struggling defense from last season whether he was ready or not. With Dahlin in the lineup Buffalo can take a good look at Guhle during training camp and be cautious with his development.
Hockey season's not too far off and although there's been no official announcement by the Sabres, it looks as if the third annual Prospects Challenge to be held in Buffalo will be the second week of September. With that comes the opportunity to see Dahlin and a group of Sabres youngins battling out with their peers from three other teams.
Most of us can't wait.