Buffalo Sabres Lose Player Who Elects to Sign Overseas
The Buffalo Sabres have had an extremely busy last two weeks, as they conducted the 2022 NHL Draft and the start of free agency.
General manager Kevyn Adams re-signed forwards Vinnie Hinostroza and Victor Olofsson, while also signing new players Ilya Lyubushkin (D) and Eric Comrie (G) to the team.
Adams and the Sabres also sent qualifying offers to goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and forward Arttu Ruotsalainen. Luukkonen has yet to sign his but Ruotsalainen we know will not be signing back with Buffalo.
Ruotsalainen has elected to sign a professional contract in the EHC Kloten of the Swiss league.
Ruotsalainen signed a two-way, entry-level contract with the Sabres in 2019 and has spent most of the time playing for the Rochester Americans. He’s played 35 games for the Sabres in two seasons, scoring seven goals and 10 points.
The 24-year-old Finnish-born forward went undrafted and was playing in the Finnish Elite League (Liiga) before coming to the Sabres organization.
With how many young forwards the Sabres have in Buffalo and with Rochester, it’s not a huge surprise that Ruotsalainen decided to play overseas once again. The Amerks will have plenty of young forwards next season, as will the Sabres. It will be hard enough to find room for players like Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka, let alone Ruotsalainen.
As disappointing as it might be for Sabres and Amerks fans, it might be in the best interest of the player and the organization it ends this way. I just can’t find a spot for him on Buffalo’s long-term plans.