Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Ristolainen
24-Year-Old DefensemanD
Buffalo Sabres
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Every season the Sabres promise to scale back Ristolainen's minutes, but they always end up breaking that promise because of a thin blue line. However, the 23-year-old continues to show a veteran's consistency, scoring at least 40 points and averaging more than 25 minutes for the third straight season. Even with the addition of top pick Rasmus Dahlin -- given Ristolainen's experience and what he's accomplished so far -- it's unlikely he'll be unseated as the team's No. 1 defenseman right away. There have been flashes where it seems like the heavy workload has started to wear on Ristolainen, but he's been quite resilient so far. With an improved team and one more year of experience, a fourth straight 40-point season is certainly possible. Even with an ugly plus-minus Ristolainen's an underrated multi-category defenseman in fantasy who's among the league's top 25. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year contract with the Sabres worth $5.4 million annually in October of 2016.
Puts body on line
DBuffalo Sabres
February 9, 2019
Ristolainen had a power-play assist and five blocked shots in Saturday's 3-1 win over the Red Wings.
This is the third time Ristolainen has blocked five shots in a game this season. More notably, the assist extended his point streak to four games, and the Finnish blueliner has registered nine assists over his last nine games. With 36 points in 54 games, including 12 on the power play, Ristolainen is a high-end No. 2 defenseman despite the minus-16 rating he carries.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Rasmus Ristolainen
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15 days ago
Calgary center Mikael Backlund has eight points in his last seven games and should do well against a Capitals team with a 3.22 GAA, good for bottom 10 in the NHL.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Ristolainen has increased his point total (45 last year) and ice time (26:28) for three straight seasons, establishing himself as one of the league’s best young defensemen. He simply does it all for the Sabres: playing against the opposition’s top forwards, quarterbacking the powerplay, and killing penalties. The sky’s the limit for Ristolainen, who’s arrow should continue pointing up on a team that looks vastly improved on paper, and he remains Buffalo’s undisputed No. 1 defenseman. It would not be a surprise to see Ristolainen crack double-digit goals while registering his third consecutive 40-point season. Ristolainen is the present and future of the Sabres’ blue line, and it’s not unreasonable to expect him to be a top-10 scorer among defensemen. He also improved his rating to minus-9 last year (from minus-21 the year before and minus-32 the year before that); it'll be huge for his fantasy value if Ristolainen can get himself to the positive side of the ledger in 2017-18.
Ristolainen is the Sabres’ undisputed No. 1 defenseman, and perhaps the best young blueliner in the league. The 21-year-old appeared in all 82 games last season, averaging 25 minutes per contest and often quarterbacking both power-play units. He's one of the shiniest stars in a golden era for Finnish hockey, having improved his point total to 41, with his 32 assists tying young star Jack Eichel for second place on the team. As the Sabres improve, so should Ristolainen’s plus-minus, which sits at a composite minus-68 after three seasons. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Ristolainen top the 50-point mark next year as the 6-foot-4 dynamo continues growing into one of the game's premier two-way defenders.
Despite his ugly minus-32 rating and rather meager total of 20 points in 78 games last season, the 20-year-old Finn is Buffalo's blue-chip defenseman and a player expected to take a big leap forward in 2015-16. With a thin blue line, the Sabres can't protect Ristolainen, but given his size, skill, and how well he's handled the pressure so far, there shouldn't be much to worry about as he continues to develop. He's locked in as one of the team's top-four defensemen and could be an intriguing late-round fantasy target.
The 19-year-old Ristolainen is Buffalo’s top-rated young player on defense, and will likely remain with Buffalo for the entire season in 2014-2015. Though his production was muted in his 34 games with the Sabres last season, Ristolainen was a key player for the team’s AHL affiliate in Rochester, scoring 20 points in 34 games. Ristolainen is at the forefront of the Sabres’ rebuild and is poised to make a greater impact this season. There will be growing pains as Ristolainen develops into a franchise defenseman, but if everything goes right, he should emerge as the Sabres’ best defenseman by season’s end.
Keeper leaguers should familiarize themselves with Ristolainen, the 8th overall pick in June�s NHL Draft. The 6�3� defenseman is expected to compete for a spot with the Sabres this fall after posting 15 points in 52 games for Turku in the Finnish league last season. Ristolainen is one of the top prospects among defensemen in all of hockey, with strong mobility and a cannon from the point. Since Ristolainen is just 18 years old, you should temper your expectations in one-year leagues, but be ready to pounce if he makes the big club and starts strong.
More Fantasy News
Riding four-game point streak
DBuffalo Sabres
January 30, 2019
Ristolainen will look to extend his point streak to five games during Wednesday's meeting with Dallas.
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Tickles twine in loss
DBuffalo Sabres
January 5, 2019
Ristolainen scored an unassisted goal in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Bruins.
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Streaking into break
DBuffalo Sabres
December 24, 2018
Ristolainen has a three-game point streak heading into the Christmas break. He also has nine points in 10 December contests.
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Sets up two PP goals
DBuffalo Sabres
December 12, 2018
Ristolainen had the primary assist on Jack Eichel's and Jeff Skinner's power-play goals in a 4-3 overtime win over Los Angeles on Tuesday.
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Tallies third goal
DBuffalo Sabres
November 27, 2018
Ristolainen scored and added four shots on net with three hits in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Sharks on Tuesday.
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