Buffalo Sabres Insider App Twitter Facebook

SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT: #BLUEPRINT EDITION

Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com profiles Rasmus Ristolainen

Wednesday, 09.04.2013 / 1:55 PM / Features
By Kris Baker  - SabresProspects.com
X
Share with your Friends


SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT: #BLUEPRINT EDITION
A mature, confident defender, Rasmus Ristolainen is set to make his North American debut following a two-year stint with TPS Turku in Finland\u2019s top professional league.
RASMUS RISTOLAINEN

The Present
A mature, confident defender, Ristolainen is set to make his North American debut following a two-year stint with TPS Turku in Finland’s top professional league. Not many 18-year-olds average 21:40 of work per game playing against men, but Ristolainen did just that last season to solidify his spot near the top of the talented 2013 draft class.

Ristolainen makes his mark with crisp execution, a high-panic threshold, and a very capable hitting game. His four-way mobility proves formidable against the rush, while his quick decisions with the puck serve as a catalyst in transition. The Sabres coaching staff will naturally look to ratchet up his defensive zone coverage in year one, but overall it’s difficult to find a glaring weakness in Ristolainen’s robust skill set.

The Future
Ristolainen’s poise and all-situations competency have the makings of a top-pair NHL defender. While his size and temperament could provide a steady, minute-eating presence in the mold of Nashville captain Shea Weber, the Sabres would be equally pleased if the big Finn’s two-way skill and physical dominance can make an impact similar to Detroit stalwart Niklas Kronwall. With fellow countryman and current Sabres staffer Teppo Numminen ready to show him the ropes, Ristolainen is expected to enjoy an accelerated learning curve in Rochester before forcing his way back to Buffalo to join the on-going youth movement.


For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s web site - sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @sabresprospects for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82