Hold onto your hats, Buffalo - Rasmus Dahlin has arrived.
Dahlin, the Sabres’ top draft pick this past Friday, arrived in Buffalo over the weekend. The team held an introductory press conference Monday for the young star.
In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights of the 18-year-old’s press conference.
First and foremost, Dahlin will wear #26 for the Buffalo Sabres. The number was team-issued.
Of course, Matt Moulson - who previously wore 26 - is still under contract with the Sabres, but per GM Jason Botterill, he won’t be playing in Buffalo next season. Instead, the team will try to find somewhere else for him to play, potentially via trade.
“Amazing feeling, just to put on this jersey, this logo,” Dahlin said at the conference. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. Finally, I’m here.”
When asked about the expectations and hype that surrounds the young defenseman, Botterill was tempered.
“He doesn’t need to be the savior,” Botterill said.
“We’re excited about our young players - Jack, Sam, Rasmus... Ristolainen,” Botterill added. “He can part of this group.”
Dahlin said he doesn’t think about the hype.
“I’m just so motivated to win hockey games,” he said. “I’m bringing everything I can to this team. Trying to win hockey games - that’s what I think about.”
Dahlin also said he was excited about all his fellow Swedes on the Sabres, but that he’s also looking forward to getting to know the rest of the locker room.
“I need to speak some English too,” he joked.
Botterill called Dahlin “a very competitive individual” and said the team is “very excited about bringing Rasmus into our organization.”
Dahlin will remain in Buffalo for this week’s development camp, which opens Wednesday. He’ll be joined by other members of the Sabres’ 2018 draft class as well as other prospects, and likely a few invitees.
Following that, he’ll return home to Sweden before coming back to Buffalo closer to the start of the NHL season in October.