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Kyle Okposo to Sabres: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction | SabresOnline.com

Kyle Okposo to Sabres: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

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Playmaking winger Kyle Okposo reportedly reached an agreement Friday with the Buffalo Sabres on a seven-year, $42 million contract. 

SportsCentre provided the financial details of the signing. Arthur Staple of Newsday confirmed the agreement is in place.

Okposo has quietly been one of the league’s most productive forwards over the past three seasons. He tallied 184 points (67 goals and 117 assists) across 210 games during that span, including 22 goals and 42 assists during the 2015-16 campaign.

His three-year point total ranks tied for 25th in the NHL with Matt Duchene and Daniel Sedin, who both made more appearances. His per-game scoring average over that time frame ranks 18th, ahead of marquee names such as Taylor Hall, Vladimir Tarasenko and Anze Kopitar, according to QuantHockey.com.

That consistent success put him in line to receive a massive contract after he carried a mere $2.8 million cap hit over the past five seasons, per General FanagerPeter Botte of the New York Daily News noted the winger hoped that new deal would come from the Islanders.

“It’s something I feel like I’ve helped build since I’ve been here, I grew up here and matured and you definitely want to see it come to fruition,” Okposo said. “You want to see it culminate in a Stanley Cup. So there’s definitely some feelings of wanting it to continue, for sure.”

Yet the 28-year-old star also understood the business side: “But everything must come to an end at some point. We’re not going to play forever. So we’ll see what happens this summer.”

One question that clouded his value was how much playing alongside John Tavares bolstered his numbers. Spending some time on the wing of the dynamic center helps, but it works both ways. Okposo always held his own, whether on Tavares’ line or elsewhere in the New York lineup.

In the end, the forward’s comments about things coming to an end proved prophetic, as he has decided to start a new chapter of his career. Joining the Sabres is a nice fit on the surface and should give him a chance to maintain his high-end scoring pace from recent years.

Buffalo is a team on the rise, and bringing the veteran winger into the fold should be another major step toward a return to the playoffs. He’ll slot in somewhere in the team’s top six, alongside Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly, depending on how the rest of the offseason goes for the Sabres.

Okposo is one of the biggest prizes of the summer free-agent frenzy. Now the pressure is on him to live up to the lucrative contract and the expectations that come with it.

 

Read more Buffalo Sabres news on BleacherReport.com

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