The Sabres wasted no time making their presence felt on Day Two of the NHL Draft. The fans in attendance in First Niagara Center applauded their approval.
Prior to the start of the second round Saturday, Buffalo made a deal with Florida that featured Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk heading to the Panthers for blue-liner Dmitry Kulikov. An exchange of picks landed Buffalo pick No. 33, which was the third pick of the day. Florida received picks No. 38 and 89.
Buffalo drafted Rasmus Asplund with the pick. The center was the fourth-ranked European skater, according to NHL Central Scouting. He centered for Alexander Nylander, the Sabres' first-round pick, for Sweden at the world juniors.
"That's one of the guys I've had the best chemistry with," Asplund said.
Kulikov is a 25-year-old, left-handed defenseman who is known to play in his own zone. He had one goal and 17 assists in 74 games last season. He will be an unrestricted free after this season and will make $4.33 million.
Pysyk had one year left on a deal that averaged $1.125 million. A first-round pick in 2010, he struggled to find a steady role on the Sabres' blue line. The 24-year-old had one goal and 11 points in 55 games this season.