Two RFAs the Sabres should keep and two they shouldn’t

With four players (besides UPL) set to explore free agency, who stays and who goes?
Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens
Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
2 of 4

Henri Jokiharju

Defenseman Henri Jokiharju is another RFA scheduled to explore free agency when the calendar hits July. Looking like an afterthought at the end of 2022-23, Jokiharju showed a strong improvement as last season rolled along. When the dust settled on this past hockey year, Number 10 enjoyed a +14, with 106 blocks, 92 hits and 18 takeaways.

The right shooting D-man also showed a little offensive skill, with 3 goals, 17 assists and 20 total points. While he’s not as aggressive with the puck in opponents’ zones as Rasmus Dahlin, Jokiharju has shown he’s willing to help out Buffalo’s forwards, not just pass the puck to them or dump it out of the Sabres end of the ice.

One of Buffalo’s weaknesses is inconsistent, undisciplined defense. The Sabres need to shore up their D if they hope to break out of their NHL record breaking playoff drought. Resigning a veteran defenseman like Jokiharju would help them out in that department.