It appears that Buffalo Sabres forward Arttu Ruotsalainen will be playing overseas next season. The forward has signed a one-year deal with EHC Kloten, a professional team based in Kloten, Switzerland. The team plays in the NL, the National League.
Der National-League-Rückkehrer @EHC_Kloten_1934 hat den finnischen Internationalen Arttu #Ruotsalainen verpflichtet. #srfsport #srfhockey https://t.co/qBm0aQvrp5— SRF Sport (@srfsport) July 22, 2022
Since the Sabres did extend a qualifying offer to Ruotsalainen, the team will retain his Nroth American rights for the time being. The lone restricted free agent left to sign is now goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
While he may have dominated another year with the Amerks, it’s pretty clear that Ruotsalainen wants to play in the NHL. Unfortunately for Ruotsalainen, he simply became the odd man out on a pretty well-packed team. There’s realistically no room for him on the NHL roster, with 13 forwards already signed. That also doesn’t include a player like JJ Peterka, who will fight for a roster spot but may spend time in Rochester, too.
Ruotsalainen has skated in 35 NHL games with the Sabres since 2020, scoring 10 points. He’s also played in 70 regular-season AHL games, potting 64 points. This past season, he recorded 51 points (18-33) in 57 games, then added 12 points in 10 playoff games.