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.
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 Catenacci, Marcus Foligno, Zemgus Girgensons, Rasmus Ristolainen.
Group 3 UFAs: Carlo Colaiacovo,
Chad Johnson (signed: CGY), David Legwand, Bobby Sanguinetti. (signed: EHC Kloten)
Group 6 UFAs: Jerry D'Amigo, Matt Donovan, Eric O'Dell,
Chad Ruhwedel (signed: PIT), Tim Schaller, Michael Sdao.
UFAs: Alexander Guptill, Colin Jacobs, Nathan Lieuwen, Andrey Makarov, Jack 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)