Lawrence Pilut and Victor Olofsson are in the fold, Rasmus Dahlin is coming next month and now the Buffalo Sabres can add another "Rasmi" to their list of elite Swedish prospects.
Center Rasmus Asplund, Buffalo's second-round pick in the 2016 draft, has signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the team. General Manager Jason Botterill said during his end-of-season news conference last month he was hopeful of getting Olofsson and Asplund signed and into the organization for next season and has now completed that task.
The deal carries a cap hit of $845,000 per season, a source told The News. Asplund would earn $742,500 this season, $867,500 in 2019-20 and $925,000 in 2020-21.
Asplund, 20, posted career-highs in goals, assists and points this season with Farjestad BK of the Swedish League with 8-20-28 in 50 games. He has 62 points in 170 career games over parts of four seasons.
Asplund was acquired with the pick from one of the most controversial trades made by former GM Tim Murray. On the second day of the 2016 draft in KeyBank Center, Murray traded defenseman Mark Pysyk to Florida for Dmitry Kulikov and also acquired the Panthers' second-round pick at No. 33 overall.
While Kulikov flamed out in Buffalo after one season and signed a free-agent contract with Winnipeg last summer, detractors of the deal were quick to hear about how the move allowed the Sabres to move up on the draft board to snare Asplund.
Asplund's international experience includes his role on Sweden's 2017 World Junior Championship team, which also included Dahlin and current Sabres/Rochester prospect Alex Nylander. Sweden suffered a 2-1 loss to Russia in the bronze medal game of the tournament in Montreal.
The signing of Asplund means the top three picks from the '16 draft, the final one under Murray, are all under contract. Nylander was Buffalo's first-round pick that year at No. 8 overall while Cliff Pu was the third-round pick at No. 69 and signed his entry-level deal last summer.