Just minutes before day two of the 2016 NHL Draft got underway from First Niagara Center, the host Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers struck a deal that saw a swapping of defensemen as well as draft picks.
The Sabres have acquired 25-year-old defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and the 33rd-overall selection in exchange for 24-year-old blue liner Mark Pysyk, the 38th and 89th pick in the NHL Draft.
With the addition of Kulikov, the Sabres address the need for a left-handed defenseman while also adding a higher second-round selection. The pick was used to select forward Rasmus Asplund from Sweden.
Kulikov comes with a $4.33-million cap hit, and becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2016-17 season. The 14th overall selection in the 2009 NHL Draft had 138 points in 460 games with the Panthers.
For the Panthers, the team acquires a player in Pysyk who is has a $1.125M cap hit and becomes a Restricted Free Agent after this season. Pysyk was the 23rd overall selection of the Sabres in the 2010 NHL Draft, and has 26 points in 125 NHL games.
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.