Sabres acquire defenseman Kulikov in trade with Panthers - Sports Illustrated

Sabres acquire defenseman Kulikov in trade with Panthers

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Sabres general manager Tim Murray filled his team's wish list by acquiring veteran defenseman Dmitri Kulikov in a trade with the Florida Panthers.

The deal was announced shortly after the second round of the NHL draft opened Saturday. Besides swapping second-round picks, with Buffalo moving up to No. 33 from No. 38, the Panthers acquired defenseman Mark Pysyk and the Sabres' third-round pick, 89th overall.

Entering his eighth NHL season, Kulikov adds experienced depth to Buffalo's young group of defensemen. And he has a left-handed shot, something Murray said was among his key offseason needs.

The Panthers' first-round pick in the 2009 draft, the 6-foot-1, 204-pound Kulikov has one year left on his contract and is set to make $4.5 million next season. He had one goal and 17 points in 73 games last year. Overall, Kulikov has 28 goals and 138 points in 460 career games.

He became expendable in Florida after the Panthers signed veteran free agent Keith Yandle to a six-year contract last week.

Pysyk, the Sabres' 2010 first-round pick, had difficulty establishing a regular role in Buffalo. He has split each of the past four seasons between Buffalo and its American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester.

Overall, Pysyk has five goals and 26 points in 125 career NHL games.

With the 33rd pick, Buffalo selected Swedish-born center Rasmus Asplund, who has ties to the Sabres' first-round pick, Alexander Nylander. Asplund played on a line with Nylander for Sweden at this past year's world junior championships.