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.