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Lawrence Pilut will make his Sabres debut tonight

Defenseman Lawrence Pilut will make his long-awaited Sabres debut tonight

NHL: Preseason-Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Housley announced about thirty minutes ago that defenseman Lawrence Pilut will officially make his NHL debut tonight in Florida when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Panthers.

Both Jake McCabe and Marco Scandella (placed on injured reserve earlier) will be out of the lineup tonight, clearing the runway for Pilut.

Ok, that’ll be my only Pilut - Pilot pun.

The 22-year-old was signed out of Sweden (SHL) this past summer after winning the defenseman of the year award (Salming Trophy) with HV71 after scoring eight goals and 38 points in 52 games last season.

Pilut made a good impression in training camp with the Sabres, but was sent to the Rochester Americans of the AHL to get familiar with the North American game.

He transitioned with ease.

Pilut has been the Amerks top defenseman, along with Zack Redmond, this season for the first place AHL affiliate of the Sabres. He was at the top of the AHL scoring with 22 goals in 16 games as a rookie defenseman.

His debut in the NHL has been a hot topic over the last few weeks with his strong start to the season. He steps into the lineup as probably the second-best puck moving defenseman behind Rasmus Dahlin.

The young Swede has been excellent for Rochester in starting the play up the ice and getting forwards in transition quickly. He’s a great skater and has excellent vision of the ice.

We’ll see how much usage and playing time he gets with the Sabres. If he plays well, it’ll also be interesting to see if he’s returned to the AHL or becomes a staple of the Sabres blue line moving forward.