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Sabres ink Dahlin to 8-year, $88M extension

Kevin Hoffman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Buffalo Sabres signed star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to an eight-year contract extension carrying an average annual value of $11 million, the team announced Monday.

The deal is effective for the 2024-25 season and will make his salary the second-highest among blue-liners in the NHL, tied with Drew Doughty. Erik Karlsson leads the pack with an annual cap hit of $11.5 million.

"I grew up here as a man," Dahlin said, according to's Jourdon LaBarber. "I came here as an 18-year-old, didn't know much about anything. Learned the language, learned the culture. Then from the beginning, I loved the city.

"So, I've always wanted to be here for a long, long time, and now it's going to happen. This is the city I love."

Dahlin was scheduled for restricted free agency next summer and became eligible to ink an extension on July 1. His current deal is a three-year pact worth $6 million annually.

The 23-year-old is coming off his best season to date, registering career highs in goals (15), assists (58), points (73), power-play points (32), shots (204), and average ice time (25:48) in 2022-23. His breakout campaign saw him finish eighth in Norris Trophy voting.

Dahlin was the first overall pick in 2018. He's been a fixture on Buffalo's blue line since he was 18, racking up 233 points in 355 career games through five seasons.

"This is a really exciting day for us," general manager Kevyn Adams said, per's Heather Engel. "We have a player in his prime years that's committing to this organization for the max term that you can."

Adams has made locking up Buffalo's young talent long term a priority in recent years. Along with Dahlin, core pieces Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens, and Mattias Samuelsson are signed through 2030.

The Sabres own the NHL's longest active postseason drought at 12 years. They missed the playoffs by a single point this past spring but are widely expected to compete in a deep Atlantic Division this season.

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