BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Sabres reinforced their blue-line depth Monday, acquiring defenseman Riley Stillman from the Canucks in exchange for prospect forward Josh Bloom, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Stillman has recorded five assists averaged just over 16 minutes of ice time in 32 games for Vancouver. The left-shot defenseman was drafted in the fourth round by Florida in 2016 and has 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) in 140 NHL games. He’s under contract through the 2023-24 season at a cap hit of $1.35 million.
Bloom was drafted by Buffalo with the 95th overall pick in the third round in 2021. The 19-year-old left winger has 19 goals and 42 points in 40 games with the North Bay Battalion in the Ontario Hockey League.
Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams identified defenseman depth after the club lost Casey Fitzgerald on waivers in midseason. All-Star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is currently listed as day-to-day with a nagging ailment, while Mattias Samuelsson, Henri Jokiharju and Ilya Lyubushkin have battled with injuries this season.
But with Buffalo contending for a playoff spot this late in the season for the first time during their record 11-year postseason drought, there has been speculation that the Sabres will be more aggressive buyers ahead of the NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. Friday.
The Sabres had been rotating Jacob Bryson and Kale Clague as their sixth and seventh defenseman. The 6-foot-1, 196-pound Stillman should bring a rougher style of play to the third pair. He’s been credited with 52 hits in his 32 appearances this. On a per-game basis, Samuelsson (1.8) and Lyubushkin (1.6) are the only Sabres hitting more frequently. For his career, Stillman has recorded more than two hits per game.
Buffalo made another move earlier on Monday, signing goaltender Michael Hauser to an NHL contract and subsequently placing him on waivers. Hauser has spent the season in Rochester backing up Malcolm Subban.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.