Mar 23, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel (5) skates against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres sign D Ruhwedel to two year deal

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The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed restricted free agent Chad Ruhwedel to a two year deal, per the team’s website.. Ruhwedel has played 28 games with the Buffalo Sabres since he signed as an undrafted free agent in April 2013. He has played 47 games with the team’s minor league affiliate, Rochester Americans, tallying 28 points in that stretch.

Ruhwedel brings another pair of skates to what is becoming a crowded stable of young defenseman vying for minutes along Buffalo’s blue line. At the top of the list sits Tyler Myers, who may or may not be in Buffalo for the long term. Assured of minutes are veterans Josh Gorges and Andrej Meszaros. Mike Weber will likely start the season in the top six, but he will be on a short leash. That’s when all the young guys come in.

Mark Pysyk and Rasmus Ristolainen lead the way for young, unproven NHL defenseman, but Jake McCabe and Nikita Zadorov are close behind. Somewhere in the middle of all that, Ruhwedel will have to find his way. He has more career NHL games than all but Pysyk of those four and he’s shown himself to a smooth skater with a knack for offense. Unfortunately, that’s the MO for most of these other guys, which makes this quite the uphill battle for everyone involved.

Chad Ruhwedel has two years to prove himself to a team full of young players in a like position. If ever there was a year for him to grab an NHL roster spot, this would be it. But there will be plenty of competition along the way.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres