Capitals Acquire Defenseman Mike Weber

The Buffalo Sabres have traded their longest-tenured player.

With more trades likely on the horizon before next Monday’s trade deadline, the Sabres have dealt defenseman Mike Weber to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 2017 third-round draft pick.

The Sabres will also retain half of Weber’s salary in the deal. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

“It’s difficult to trade someone that has been a part of the organization for 10 years, but I think this is a good opportunity for the player and for our organization,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said in a statement. “I would like to thank Mike for his time with the Sabres and wish him the best in Washington.”

Weber, 28, was Buffalo’s second-round choice, 57th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He first skated with the Sabres in 2007-08 and has remained on the roster since. In 2010-11, his first full NHL season, Weber scored career highs in goals (4), assists (13) and points (17), while also accumulating a career-best plus-13 rating in 58 games played. This season, Weber tallied four assists and five points with a plus-3 rating in 35 games.

Washington currently leads the entire league with 92 points and seems primed for a deep postseason, Weber is yet to win a Stanley Cup, as his only foray in the postseason included one assist in seven games in 2011.

“We are pleased to welcome Mike to our organization,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement released by Capitals. “Mike is a stay-at-home defenseman, who plays a physical game and is respected by his teammates. We felt it was important to add depth to our blueline by adding another quality veteran defenseman.”

Weber will likely serve as a depth defenseman on a corps that already bodes the likes of Matt Niskanen, John Carlson and Dmitry Orlov.

The Sabres added to their vast collection of draft picks over the next two years. This is their 20th draft pick in that span, which includes 10 in the first three rounds.

The Sabres drafted No. 2 in 2015, selecting superstar-in-the-making Jack Eichel. Currently, the Sabres are one of the bottom-five teams in the NHL, again making them eligible for the first overall pick.