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Buffalo Sabres

Kyle Okposo Traded to Panthers for Pick, Prospect



Kyle Okposo trade

The Buffalo Sabres announced they traded team captain Kyle Okposo to the Florida Panthers Friday in exchange for defenseman Calle Sjalin and a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. It is the first trade by the Sabres on what’s expected to be a busy trade deadline day.

Must Read: Potential Sabres Trade Deadline Targets

Sjalin was selected in the fifth round, 145th overall, in the 2017 NHL Draft. The 24-year-old defenseman has three assists in 22 games with the Charlotte Checkers this season. He’s an organizational depth-add, as the Sabres will likely be parting with other unrestricted free agents.

Sjalin was the former teammate of prospect Isak Rosen on Leksands IF in the SHL in Sweden.

Per the Sabres, the conditional seventh-round pick will become a fifth-rounder if the Panthers win the Stanley Cup. DraftKings Sportsbook lists the Florida Panthers with the best odds of winning it all, at +600.

Okposo joins former teammates Sam Reinhart, Brandon Montour, Evan Rodrigues, and Dmitry Kulikov in his trade to Florida. He’ll bring experience to the Panthers’ bottom six, as the 17-year veteran will have a chance at winning the first Stanley Cup of his career.

Okposo had 103 goals and 245 points in 516 games with the Sabres. He served as the team’s captain over the past two seasons. A well-respected veteran in the room, it remains to be seen how this will affect the locker room dynamic. Candidates for the future captaincy include Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Tuch, and Dylan Cozens.

As for what’s coming next, Zemgus Girgensons is in a similar trade situation as Okposo. We’ll see if he is moved to a contender. The same can be said for Victor Olofsson and Eric Robinson.

Must Read: Who Will the Sabres Trade Next?

Erik Johnson is perhaps the likeliest to be on the move, as he’s sat out the last two games with a mysterious “illness”. Johnson can add quality depth to a playoff team’s blueline and has his name on the Stanley Cup.