Sabres forward Arttu Ruotsalainen signs deal to play in Switzerland

Mike Harrington

You can cross off Arttu Ruotsalainen as a candidate to crack the Buffalo Sabres’ roster next season.

EHC Kloten of the Swiss League announced Friday that the speedy Finnish forward, who became a scoring dynamo late in the season and during the playoffs at Rochester, has signed to play with the club for the 2022-23 season.

Ruotsalainen, 24, had just two goals and two assists in 18 games with the Sabres last season before heading to Rochester, where he enjoyed a breakthrough campaign.

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After collecting 18 goals and 33 assists in 57 games in the regular season, Ruotsalainen led the Amerks with eight goals in the playoffs and tied for the the club scoring lead with JJ Peterka at 12 points.

Included were overtime goals that thrilled big crowds in Blue Cross Arena and beat Belleville in Game 1 of the first round and Utica in Game 3 of the second round. The Amerks won both series to advance to the Round 3 for the first time since 2004 before getting swept by Laval.

The expected ascension of Peterka and fellow mega-prospect Jack Quinn to Buffalo likely nosed out Ruotsalainen. There does not appear to be any open spots among Buffalo’s forward group with the two rookies slotted to be in the lineup. Ruotsalainen got mostly fourth-line minutes in the NHL last season and that would again be his most likely spot in Buffalo. 

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