Sabres acquire defenseman Kulikov in trade with Panthers

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Sabres have opened the second round of the NHL draft with a splash by acquiring defenseman Dmitri Kulikov in a trade with the Florida Panthers.

The deal was announced three picks into the second round of the draft on Saturday. Besides swapping second-round picks, with Buffalo moving up to No. 33 from No. 38, the Panthers acquired defenseman Mark Pysyk and the Sabres' third-round pick, 89th overall.

Kulikov is the left-shot defenseman Sabres general manager Tim Murray said he was hoping to add to his roster this offseason. Kulikov has one year left on his contract and is set to make $4.5 million next season.

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He became expendable in Florida after the Panthers signed veteran free agent Keith Yandle to a six-year contract last week.