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Atlantic Division Offseason Report: Buffalo Sabres

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Rapidly-improving Sabres look to become postseason contenders

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The rising Buffalo Sabres finished the 2015-16 campaign with 81 points, a hefty increase of 27 over the paltry 54 they posted the prior season.

Buffalo made a big splash on July 1, signing coveted UFA winger Kyle Okposo to a monster seven-year deal. On the second day of the entry draft, the Sabres swapped defensemen and picks with last year's Atlantic Division champ, the Florida Panthers. The trade saw Dmitry Kulikov shuffle off to Buffalo while Mark Pysyk heads south to Sunrise.

Speaking of the draft, the Sabres continued to load up for the future. Talented Swedish forwards Alexander Nylander and Rasmus Asplund were the brightest lights in Buffalo's ten-man haul at First Niagara Center.

New Additions

Kyle Okposo signs seven-year, $42M contract

Justin Falk signs one-year, $650K contract

Taylor Fedun signs one-year, 600K contract

Derek Grant signs one-year, $650K contract

Sabres' Free Agents

Group 2 FAs: Daniel CatenacciMarcus FolignoZemgus GirgensonsRasmus Ristolainen.

Group 3 UFAs: Carlo ColaiacovoChad Johnson (signed: CGY), David LegwandBobby Sanguinetti. (signed: EHC Kloten)

Group 6 UFAs: Jerry D'AmigoMatt DonovanEric O'DellChad Ruhwedel (signed: PIT), Tim SchallerMichael Sdao.

UFAs: Alexander Guptill, Colin JacobsNathan LieuwenAndrey MakarovJack Nevins.

2016 Draft Class

Round 1 (8) F Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)

Round 2 (33) F Rasmus Asplund (Farjestad BK Karlstad)

Round 3 (69) F Cliff Pu (London Knights)

Round 3 (86) D Casey Fitzgerald (Boston College)

Round 4 (99) F Brett Murray (Carleton Place Canadians)

Round 5 (129) D Philip Nyberg (Linkoping Jrs)

Round 5 (130) D Vojtech Budik (Prince Albert Raiders)

Round 6 (159) F Brandon Hagel (Red Deer Rebels)

Round 7 (189) D Austin Osmanski (Mississauga Steelheads)

Round 7 (190) F Vasili Glotov (SKA Jrs)

Salary Cap Space: $9,069,645 (courtesy of General Fanager)