The Buffalo Sabers have signed defenseman Connor Clifton to a three-year contract at an average annual value of $3.33 million, the team announced Saturday.
Clifton, 28, set career highs in games played (78), goals (5), assists (18), points (23) and plus/minus (plus 20) last season with the Boston Bruins.
He averaged 1:19 of the shorthanded ice time for Boston’s death penalty kill. His 2.34 power plays allowed per 60 minutes ranks first among NHL defensemen with at least 60 minutes of games shortened.
Clifton, right shot, is the second defenseman to sign with the Sabers on Opening Day free agency. the team He signed veteran Eric Johnsonthe Stanley Cup champions with the Colorado Avalanche, signed a one-year contract earlier in the day.
Sabers general manager Kevyn Adams identified depth of defense as an area of focus heading into the offseason following Thursday’s NHL draft.
“It’s an area that we’ve identified and we’d like to help our NHL roster improve, just depth and quality… making sure we have depth to cover ourselves (in case of injuries),” he said.
Clifton played for Sabers coach Don Granato for two seasons with the US National Team Development Program and won the silver medal with the US at the 2018 IIHF World U18 Championships.