|(6/2/16) Ristolainen, who just finished his third pro season as a 21-year-old, is the Sabres' de facto top defenseman, reports WGR 550.|
Those who have been following Ristolainen since his draft year will know that the lanky Finnish defenseman is an absolute gem, and with the golden era of hockey coming for Finland, Ristolainen is poised to be his nation's top all-round defenseman. He averaged over 25 minutes per game and scored 41 points in 82 games, along with 139 hits and 137 blocked shots. Despite his young age, he has the full confidence of the team to play in high-pressure situations. Going forward, Ristolainen will continue to have tough stretches as he gains experience, but as both him and the Sabres improve, he will continue to put up very encouraging numbers. He is a potential top-20 defenseman in fantasy next year, and worthy of a keeper spot in deep dynasty leagues.