Ristolainen was traded by the Sabres to the Flyers on Friday in exchange for Robert Hagg, the 13th overall pick in Friday night's Entry Draft and a 2023 second-round pick, ESPN's Kevin Weekes reports.
Ristolainen has been the subject of trade rumors for several years, and the Sabres have finally decided to deal the much-maligned blueliner. They were able to acquire quite the hall in the process. Ryan Ellis and Ivan Provorov are locked in as the Flyers' top-pairing defenders, but Ristolainen should slot into a second-pairing role in 2021-22, and he'll also likely be featured on one of Philadelphia's power-play units, giving him plenty of offensive upside. Despite playing on a weak Sabres team, Ristolainen has racked up 15 goals, 94 points, 383 shots and a whopping 631 hits over the past three campaigns, so he'll be an attractive fantasy option next season, particularly in formats that reward physical play.
Ristolainen notched two assists, eight hits and four blocked shots in Thursday's 8-4 loss to the Penguins.
The latter of Ristolainen's two assists came on a Jeff Skinner power-play goal in the third period. The 26-year-old Ristolainen has struggled to generate offense with only 18 points and a minus-18 rating through 48 contests. He's partially offset that with 190 hits, 66 blocked shots and 72 shots on net, but there's no denying it's been a difficult year for the four-time 40-point earner.
Ristolainen tallied two assists with two PIM and two hits in Monday's 4-2 win over the Islanders.
Ristolainen came into the night without a point in his previous eight games, but he put that to bed with an assist on Tage Thompson's power-play goal in the second period. Ristolainen also had the lone assist on Sam Reinhart's goal-ahead tally late in the final frame. The 26-year-old defenseman has 16 points in 46 games on the season.
Ristolainen picked up two assists while adding six hits and three blocked shots in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Capitals.
The 26-year-old made an impact all over the ice and helped set up Buffalo's final two goals, but he wasn't able to will the club to a better result, Ristolainen has two multi-point performances in his last six games, but on the season he's managed only four goals and 13 points through 33 contests.
Ristolainen put up two assists, four blocked shots and six hits in Wednesday's 6-1 win over the Flyers.
Ristolainen was instrumental in helping the Sabres end their brutal 18-game losing skid, putting it all on the line from both ends of the ice and asserting himself physically. The veteran blueliner didn't mark the scoresheet much at all during the team's slump, but he was in vintage form Wednesday.
Ristolainen has been held off the scoresheet in the past nine games.
After scoring points in back-to-back contests at the start of March, Ristolainen has been unable to provide any offense. He has three goals and five assists in 23 appearances this season. He scored 40 or more points in four consecutive seasons, followed by 33 points last year. All told, Ristolainen's fantasy output is at its lowest point since 2015-16.
Ristolainen (not injury related) will play in Saturday's game versus the Flyers, Heather Engel of NHL.com reports.
Ristolainen is back in action after missing the last seven games due to a stint in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol and the subsequent conditioning required afterward. The 26-year-old averaged 23:34 of ice time per game, recording six points through 10 contests, prior to his absence. He's expected to play in the top four once again.
Although he's not quite 100 percent yet, Ristolainen (not injury related) told reporters Thursday he "feels really close and really good," Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
This is encouraging news, as coach Ralph Krueger recently said he was hopeful Ristolainen would be ready to play "in a few weeks." It sounds like Ristolainen should be back sooner than that, but it's hard to pinpoint a definite timeline for the 26-year-old Finn, who is still working on ramping up his conditioning after being sidelined due to the NHL's COVID-19 protocols. The 2013 first-round pick picked up six points through the first 10 games of the campaign before landing on the protocols list.
Coach Ralph Krueger is hopeful Ristolainen (not injury related) will be ready to play "in a few weeks," Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Ristolainen was removed from the NHL's COVID-19 protocols list Tuesday, but it's evidently going to take some time for the Finnish blueliner to ramp up his conditioning. He's picked up six points through 10 games this campaign.
Ristolainen (not injury related) isn't with the Sabres for the start of their four-game road trip, Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News reports.
Ristolainen may join the Sabres at some point during the team's four-game road trip, but he'll miss Thursday's game against Washington at a minimum as he works on ramping up his conditioning after being sidelined for two weeks due to the NHL's COVID-19 protocols. Another update on the blueliner's status should surface if and when he joins his teammates on the road.
Ristolainen has been removed from the NHL's COVID-19 protocols list, Matt Porter of The Boston Globe reports.
Ristolainen hasn't practiced in two weeks due to the NHL's virus protocols, so he probably won't immediately rejoin the lineup Tuesday against the Islanders. Thursday against Washington, however, remains a distinct possibility. The 26-year-old blueliner has picked up six points through 10 games this campaign.
Ristolainen been placed on the NHL's COVID-19 protocols list, Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers reports.
The Sabres' next four games have been postponed, so there's a chance Ristolainen won't be forced to miss any action despite surfacing on the protocols list Tuesday. The 26-year-old blueliner has picked up six points through 10 contests this campaign.
Ristolainen scored a power-play goal and added an even-strength assist in Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Devils.
The 26-year-old blueliner is on something of a roll, scoring a goal and five points over the last five games, with all but Sunday's helper coming with the man advantage. Ristolainen has a history of strong power-play numbers, racking up more than 20 PP points in three straight seasons from 2015-16 through 2017-18, and the offseason addition of Taylor Hall and further maturation from Rasmus Dahlin has only made the Sabres' top unit more dangerous.
Ristolainen picked up two power-play assists in Sunday's 4-3 shootout win over the Capitals.
The two teams combined for five power-play goals on the afternoon, leading Ristolainen to his first helpers of the season to go along with one even-strength goal through six games. The 26-year-old will have a hard time returning to the 40-point plateau in the shortened campaign, but he should still put together a productive season.
GM Jason Botterill's firing this week may be a good sign for Ristolainen, a favorite of coach Ralph Krueger, Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News surmises.
The Sabres had a huge shakeup this week with Botterill and a slew of other personnel sent out the door, so it looks like Krueger and Jack Eichel will be having plenty of input with new GM Kevyn Adams in terms of what the team will look like going forward. One of the games Sabres fans are forced to play each playoff-less offseason -- besides trying to guess the next GM or coach -- is to guess the fate of Ristolainen, who always seems to get mentioned in trade talks. But he's also the team's second-best defenseman after Rasmus Dahlin and fits Krueger's preferred style of play, so perhaps with the major shakeup, Risto may get a quick vote of confidence as the team sets its sights on the 2020-21 season.
Ristolainen scored a goal on four shots and had two PIM Tuesday in a 3-1 loss to Winnipeg.
Ristolainen tallied the lone Sabres goal midway through the third period, when he came off the end boards and surprised Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck with shot from between the goal line and the bottom of the faceoff circle. It was the sixth goal of the season for Ristolainen but his first since Jan. 12. Despite the goal slump, he's provided a solid 32 points in 66 games.
Ristolainen, thought to be a trade candidate, was not dealt by the Sabres as the deadline passed Monday.
Risto, a good scorer who's historically put up nauseating plus/minus ratings, has adapted well to new coach Ralph Krueger's system, and at plus-3 the defenseman could put up his first-ever positive rating. While he offered Cup candidates a scoring presence from the blue line at a reasonable salary, in the end he'll stay with the Sabres as they try to make a late playoff push.
Ristolainen picked up two power-play assists in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Penguins.
He helped set up both of Jack Eichel's strikes, including the eventual game-winner in the first period. Ristolainen has a four-game point streak going during which he has six points (all assists), and he remains on pace for his fifth straight 40-point campaign with five goals and 31 points through 61 games.
Ristolainen had two assists, including one on the power play, and five hits in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
The Finn had a hand in goals by Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey in a span of 1:31 during the third period. Ristolainen has posted five assists and 23 hits over eight games in February. For the season, the 25-year-old has 28 points, 176 hits and 108 shots on goal in 59 outings. Right now, he's on pace to miss the 40-point mark for the first time since 2014-15, but the blueliner is capable of making up that ground.
Coach Ralph Krueger said Ristolainen missed practice Wednesday but that it was for "maintenance," Lance Lyskowski of The Buffalo News reports.
Ristolainen was a huge trade candidate this past summer, but things have calmed down on that front, as he seems to enjoy playing for his new coach. While the blueliner is averaging a modest 22:34 per game this season -- his lowest total ice time since 2014-15 -- and at 23 points he's going to have to put together a hot streak to achieve his fifth straight 40-point season, Risto sits at a respectable even plus/minus, far better than the minus-41 and minus-25 he put up the last two campaigns.
|Last 7 Games|
|04/11||@ PHI||W 5-3||0||0||0||+2||24:46|
|03/31||vs PHI||W 6-1||0||2||2||+4||22:29|
|03/29||vs PHI||L 3-4 (OT)||0||0||0||-1||22:24|
|03/09||@ PHI||L 4-5 (SO)||0||0||0||+1||23:51|
|02/28||vs PHI||L 0-3||0||0||0||-2||21:01|
|02/27||vs PHI||L 0-3||0||0||0||-1||22:18|
|01/19||@ PHI||L 0-3||0||0||0||-1||18:51|
|Complete Game Log|
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