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Sabres sign Cozens to 7-year extension with $7.1M AAV

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

The Buffalo Sabres have locked up another key piece of their core, signing Dylan Cozens to a seven-year, $49.7-million extension on Tuesday.

Cozens was scheduled for restricted free agency this summer following the expiration of his entry-level contract. His new cap hit is nearly identical to Tage Thompson's, who signed a seven-year, $50-million extension in August.

Buffalo now has its top two centers under contract through 2029-30 for a combined cap hit of just over $14 million.

The Sabres drafted Cozens seventh overall in 2019 after a prolific junior career with the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Yukon native also represented Canada twice at the world juniors before joining Buffalo as a semi-regular fixture in 2020-21.

Cozens has racked up 94 points in 169 games but is having a career year in 2022-23, ranking fifth on the high-flying Sabres with 43 points through 49 games.

Buffalo's remaining RFAs after the Cozens deal are Tyson Jost, Rasmus Asplund, and Kale Clague. The club is projected to have over $24 million in available money this offseason, according to CapFriendly.

The Sabres could theoretically use the financial flexibility to add to a promising roster already on the upswing. Buffalo hasn't made the playoffs since 2011 but is currently in the hunt for a wild-card spot with 56 points and owns the league's third-most-prolific offense with 185 goals for.

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