Ristolainen finished with nine goals and 32 assists to lead all Buffalo defensemen in scoring. At just 21 years old and in his third full season as a pro in North America, Ristolainen has already cracked the 40-point mark. Despite Buffalo's mediocre performance this season, the big Finn has already established himself as one of the league's best defenseman. His minus-21 rating is a reflection of having to play against the opposition's top forwards. His 202 shots on goal, 139 hits and 137 blocked shots make him an all-round fantasy monster and one of the few in the 200-100-100 club.
Ristolainen tallied an assist in Monday's loss to the Red Wings. The defenseman also skated a game-high 26:21 worth of ice time, while finishing with a plus-1 rating. The 21-year-old is now at the 40-point plateau for the season, as he continues to be a bright spot amidst an otherwise unremarkable season in Buffalo.
Ristolainen assisted on Zach Bogosian's goal in a 3-2 loss to Montreal on Wednesday. It was Ristolainen's 29th assist of the season, just one shy of hitting the 30-assist mark. In his second full NHL season he's already averaging over 25 minutes per game and continues to see his numbers climb. He's become the team's go-to power-play quarterback, and has registered 15 power-play assists this season, compared to just four last year. His plus-minus isn't very good because the Sabres don't win very many games, but going forward all signs point toward him being a clear-cut top-25 fantasy defenseman next year.
Ristolainen found twine for the first time since mid-January in Thursday's win over Calgary, adding a plus-2 rating, four shots, three blocks and two hits. To be precise, the 21-year-old blueliner had last scored back on Jan. 12; in the 21 games between his goals, he tallied just seven helpers and a minus-10 rating. Even with this perhaps predictable fall-off, Ristolainen's provided far better value than fantasy owners expected from him coming into the year, and the future is bright for the big Finn, who's still got room to put on muscle and should continue developing along with his similarly young teammates on the gradually up-and-coming Sabres.
Ristolainen didn't register a point, but sported a plus-3 rating in Sunday's win over the Avalanche. Ristolainen hasn't been on the scoresheet in five of the last six games, but his presence continues to be felt as he's registered a plus-3 rating in consecutive contests. The 21-year-old has had a highly productive campaign on the blue line and should continue to be deployed in all formats.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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