Sabres trade prospect Savoie for Oilers’ Ryan McLeod, re-sign Jokiharju

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Sabres acquired forward Ryan McLeod in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, getting an established NHL player who just experienced a long playoff run in exchange for one of the organization’s top prospects.

Buffalo received McLeod and minor leaguer Tyler Tullio from the Western Conference champions for 20-year-old center Matthew Savoie.

Savoie was the ninth pick in the 2022 draft and made his NHL debut in November — so far his only game at that level after splitting time last season in junior hockey and the minors. Savoie’s 24 postseason points ranked fourth in this season’s WHL playoffs, during which his Moose Jaw Warriors won their first WHL title.

McLeod posted a career-best 30 points last season (12+18) before tallying four goals in 24 playoff games as Edmonton got to the Stanley Cup Final. McLeod is signed for $2.1 million for next season.

The Sabres, moments after making the trade, re-signed defenseman Henri Jokiharju to a one-year contract worth $3.1 million.

The addition of McLeod adds to the Sabres’ push to improve team speed this offseason under new coach Lindy Ruff. Per NHL Edge, McLeod recorded the 10th-fastest skating speed in the NHL last season (23.82 mph). New Sabres Sam Lafferty and Nicolas Aube-Kubel also ranked in the 90th percentile for skating speed.

Jokiharju, 25, has spent the past five seasons with the Sabres. He is not known for offense but led the team in plus/minus last season at +14.

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