The St. Louis Blues acquired center Ryan O'Reilly on Sunday, sending a pair of draft picks along with centers Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund and Tage Thompson to the Buffalo Sabres.
As part of the trade, the Blues agreed to pay the $7.5 million contract due to O'Reilly on July 1.
O'Reilly now moves to his third team after beginning his career with the Colorado Avalanche, and spending the last three seasons in Buffalo. The established two-way forward has five seasons remaining on his contract with a $7.5 million cap hit. He's averaged 22 goals and 37 assists over the past five seasons and set an NHL record in 2017-18 by winning 1,273 faceoffs.
"We're excited to add Ryan O'Reilly to our organization," general manager Doug Armstrong said. "To do that we've had to give up some longstanding Blues in Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka."
In doing so, the Blues cleared cap space in the deal, and added strength down the middle with O'Reilly joining Brayden Schenn and newly signed Tyler Bozak.
"One thing also in today's NHL you can never have too many centermen," Armstrong said.
The Sabres, meanwhile, acquired a pair of veteran forwards for their rebuilding team as well as Thompson, St. Louis's top pick in 2016. The 20-year-old winger notched three goals and nine points in 40 games during his first NHL season.
The draft picks acquired in the trade include a lottery-protected first-rounder in 2019 and a 2021 second-round selection.
It wasn't the first big move by Buffalo, which signed goalie Carter Hutton to a three-year deal on the opening day of free agency and added defensive prospect Brandon Hickey on an entry-level contract.