Add Casey Nelson to the list of players returning for the Buffalo Sabres next season. On Wednesday the team announced that Nelson has agree to a two-year deal worth an average salary of $812,500 per season.
Nelson, 25, appeared in 37 games with the Sabres last season, scoring three goals and adding five assists. While with Rochester, Nelson scored 14 points in 40 games.
This is a smart move for both the Sabres and Nelson.
For Nelson this is an opportunity to prove that he deserve more money and commitment when it's time for his next contract. As for the Sabres, this is a low-risk move for a player with plenty of upside.
Last season, Nelson was one of the few bright spots in the lineup and improved as the season came to an end. Nelson also worked very well with Brendan Guhle, who many expect will be a regular next season.
Nelson will have to earn his spot in the opening night lineup but having him around as an extra defenseman is a nice insurance policy. If he has a strong camp, we could very likely see a Nelson/Guhle third pairing. Not bad, especially when you consider these last few seasons.