Sabres ink defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to three-year bridge deal

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The Buffalo Sabres have locked up Rasmus Dahlin (26). (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Buffalo Sabres have locked up Rasmus Dahlin. (Getty)

The Buffalo Sabres have locked up a key piece of their blue line, inking Rasmus Dahlin to a three-year contract on Wednesday. The deal carries an average annual value of $6 million.

Dahlin scored five goals and added 18 assists in 56 games last season while averaging a career-high 21:36 of ice time. The 21-year-old saw an uptick in playing time under interim head coach Don Granato toward the end of last season, and felt the new bench boss brought the best out of him.

"His way to play was how I learned to play hockey," Dahlin said of Granato at the end of the 2020-21 campaign. "But the thing I felt was that he trusted me as a player. He really saw what my potential was, and I felt comfortable playing out there. I wasn't thinking too much."

Granato will be back behind the bench in 2021-22 after having the interim tag lifted from his title in June.

Dahlin was selected first overall by Buffalo in the 2018 draft and earned a Calder Trophy nomination during his first season in the NHL. 

The native of Sweden registered a combined 84 points during his first two NHL seasons, ranking him second in NHL history for a defenceman under the age of 20. Only Sabres Hall of Famer Phil Housley amassed more.

Buffalo is coming off another hugely disappointing campaign in which it posted a league-worst 37 points in the pandemic-shortened 56-game campaign. There is also lingering drama with captain Jack Eichel heading into training camp this week.

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