Buffalo Sabres trade away rights to Erik Portillo

The Sabres get a 2023 3rd rounder from the Kings

The Buffalo Sabres have made a trade, and it’s not one that we’ve been looking forward to either. We had strongly suspected that 2019 NHL Draft third round pick Erik Portillo had no intention of inking a contract with the Sabres, and today General Manager Kevyn Adams traded away the rights to signing the goaltender to the Los Angeles Kings for a third rounder in the upcoming 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

The 67th overall pick is currently with Michigan and was expected to become a free agent at the end of this season if the Sabres did not come to an agreement with him. His performance with the Wolverines earned him a nod as a 2022 Mike Richter award semifinalist for best NCAA goalie — an award fellow Sabres prospect Devon Levi won.

The Kings yesterday traded away their long-term goalie Jonathan Quick to Columbus Blue Jackets, picking up Joonas Korpisalo in return. The Sabres made a lower level trade yesterday adding Riley Stillman from Vancouver for prospect Josh Bloom.

With Portillo’s exit from the organization the path is now clear for Levi to sign with the Sabres, making the future between the pipes somewhat less murky for the organization.

The Sabres now have 9 picks in the 2023 draft - will Adams package one or more of those at the trade deadline on Friday to bring in a player (or two?) that can help right away? It’s looking like Buffalo had genuine interest in Jakob Chychrun but the package Ottawa put together was better than Adams’ best bet with the defenseman traded earlier today for a conditional 2023 first-round draft pick (top five protected), a conditional 2024 second-round selection (from the Washington Capitals), and a 2026 second-round pick.