Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Ristolainen
25-Year-Old DefensemanD
Buffalo Sabres
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Ristolainen has always been a strong source of offense from the blue line, but the hulking defenseman struggles badly in his own zone -- his minus-41 rating last season was the worst in the league, and Ristolainen's career plus-minus through 424 games is minus-143. Owners who are willing to eat the rating struggles will get a dependable offensive contributor, though, as the Finn has topped 40 points in each of the past four seasons, averaging 21.5 power-play points over that span to boot. There's been some speculation that there's only room for one Rasmus on Buffalo's blue line and that Ristolainen could be traded while Dahlin becomes the face of the Sabres' defense corps, but it's safe to pencil him in for close to 40 points whether he stays or goes. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year contract with the Sabres worth $5.4 million annually in October of 2016.
Stays in Buffalo
DBuffalo Sabres
February 24, 2020
Ristolainen, thought to be a trade candidate, was not dealt by the Sabres as the deadline passed Monday.
ANALYSIS
Risto, a good scorer who's historically put up nauseating plus/minus ratings, has adapted well to new coach Ralph Krueger's system, and at plus-3 the defenseman could put up his first-ever positive rating. While he offered Cup candidates a scoring presence from the blue line at a reasonable salary, in the end he'll stay with the Sabres as they try to make a late playoff push.
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2017 NHL Game Log
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2019–20 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    22:42
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    2:16
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    2:18
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2017–18
26:30
3:41
2:46
2018–19
24:38
3:00
2:10
2019–20
22:42
2:16
2:18
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Rasmus Ristolainen
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Yahoo DFS Hockey: Thursday Picks
20 days ago
Chris Morgan looks over Thursday's slate and expects Carey Price to stand tall on home ice against the Ducks.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Every season the Sabres promise to scale back Ristolainen's minutes, but they always end up breaking that promise because of a thin blue line. However, the 23-year-old continues to show a veteran's consistency, scoring at least 40 points and averaging more than 25 minutes for the third straight season. Even with the addition of top pick Rasmus Dahlin -- given Ristolainen's experience and what he's accomplished so far -- it's unlikely he'll be unseated as the team's No. 1 defenseman right away. There have been flashes where it seems like the heavy workload has started to wear on Ristolainen, but he's been quite resilient so far. With an improved team and one more year of experience, a fourth straight 40-point season is certainly possible. Even with an ugly plus-minus Ristolainen's an underrated multi-category defenseman in fantasy who's among the league's top 25.
Ristolainen has increased his point total (45 last year) and ice time (26:28) for three straight seasons, establishing himself as one of the league’s best young defensemen. He simply does it all for the Sabres: playing against the opposition’s top forwards, quarterbacking the powerplay, and killing penalties. The sky’s the limit for Ristolainen, who’s arrow should continue pointing up on a team that looks vastly improved on paper, and he remains Buffalo’s undisputed No. 1 defenseman. It would not be a surprise to see Ristolainen crack double-digit goals while registering his third consecutive 40-point season. Ristolainen is the present and future of the Sabres’ blue line, and it’s not unreasonable to expect him to be a top-10 scorer among defensemen. He also improved his rating to minus-9 last year (from minus-21 the year before and minus-32 the year before that); it'll be huge for his fantasy value if Ristolainen can get himself to the positive side of the ledger in 2017-18.
Ristolainen is the Sabres’ undisputed No. 1 defenseman, and perhaps the best young blueliner in the league. The 21-year-old appeared in all 82 games last season, averaging 25 minutes per contest and often quarterbacking both power-play units. He's one of the shiniest stars in a golden era for Finnish hockey, having improved his point total to 41, with his 32 assists tying young star Jack Eichel for second place on the team. As the Sabres improve, so should Ristolainen’s plus-minus, which sits at a composite minus-68 after three seasons. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Ristolainen top the 50-point mark next year as the 6-foot-4 dynamo continues growing into one of the game's premier two-way defenders.
Despite his ugly minus-32 rating and rather meager total of 20 points in 78 games last season, the 20-year-old Finn is Buffalo's blue-chip defenseman and a player expected to take a big leap forward in 2015-16. With a thin blue line, the Sabres can't protect Ristolainen, but given his size, skill, and how well he's handled the pressure so far, there shouldn't be much to worry about as he continues to develop. He's locked in as one of the team's top-four defensemen and could be an intriguing late-round fantasy target.
The 19-year-old Ristolainen is Buffalo’s top-rated young player on defense, and will likely remain with Buffalo for the entire season in 2014-2015. Though his production was muted in his 34 games with the Sabres last season, Ristolainen was a key player for the team’s AHL affiliate in Rochester, scoring 20 points in 34 games. Ristolainen is at the forefront of the Sabres’ rebuild and is poised to make a greater impact this season. There will be growing pains as Ristolainen develops into a franchise defenseman, but if everything goes right, he should emerge as the Sabres’ best defenseman by season’s end.
Keeper leaguers should familiarize themselves with Ristolainen, the 8th overall pick in June�s NHL Draft. The 6�3� defenseman is expected to compete for a spot with the Sabres this fall after posting 15 points in 52 games for Turku in the Finnish league last season. Ristolainen is one of the top prospects among defensemen in all of hockey, with strong mobility and a cannon from the point. Since Ristolainen is just 18 years old, you should temper your expectations in one-year leagues, but be ready to pounce if he makes the big club and starts strong.
More Fantasy News
Two helpers in win
DBuffalo Sabres
February 22, 2020
Ristolainen picked up two power-play assists in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Penguins.
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Dishes pair of assists
DBuffalo Sabres
February 16, 2020
Ristolainen had two assists, including one on the power play, and five hits in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
ANALYSIS
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Maintenance day
DBuffalo Sabres
January 29, 2020
Coach Ralph Krueger said Ristolainen missed practice Wednesday but that it was for "maintenance," Lance Lyskowski of The Buffalo News reports.
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Collects helper
DBuffalo Sabres
January 16, 2020
Ristolainen produced an assist, three shots on goal and three hits in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Stars.
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Supplies power-play marker
DBuffalo Sabres
January 12, 2020
Ristolainen scored a power-play goal on two shots and added a pair of hits in Sunday's 5-1 victory over the Red Wings.
ANALYSIS
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