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Sabres sign Nathan Beaulieu for two years

Another piece to solving the defensive puzzle is officially in the fold.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres announced today that they’ve signed RFA defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a two-year contract worth a total of $4.8 million.

Beaulieu avoids arbitration by signing this deal, and his cap hit of $2.4 million per season is a raise over the $925,000 number he had last year, likely a sign of faith by the Sabres that they believe that the 24-year old blueliner will play a significant role in their plans over the next few years.

Last season, Beaulieu scored 28 points in 74 games and was a +8 for Montreal. Those numbers would have ranked him second and first, respectively, on the Sabres last year. With new coach Phil Housley looking to bring some of his Nashville magic to Buffalo, the smooth-skating Beaulieu could be one of the players who benefits the most from Housley’s influence.

With NB in the fold, only Zemgus Girgensons remains on the Sabres list of unsigned RFAs.