Sabres ink first-round pick Ristolainen

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Updated: 7/12/2013 11:35 pm

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres signed their first-round draft pick Friday, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The 19-year-old was taken with the eighth overall selection this year. He's the Sabres' highest first-round selection since the team selected forward Thomas Vanek fifth overall in 2003.

During the 2012-13 season, he played for TPS in his native Finland and had three goals and 12 assists in 52 games.

"We felt that it was important to get Rasmus under contract quickly so that we could start the development process right away," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said. "He's a very mature defenseman for his age and will have every chance to compete for a roster spot in training camp."

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