When Jhonas Enroth was drafted 46th overall by the Sabres in 2006, it was made clear that when he was ready, he would backup goalie Ryan Miller. Fast forward 6 seasons, and now look what we have: a disgruntled Ryan Miller who is 33 years of age and clearly wants out of Buffalo. It is evident that Jhonas Enroth is ready to be a full time starter, and the time is now for Enroth to shine in Buffalo.
This past season, Enroth appeared in just 12 games, posting a 4-4-1 record with a solid .919 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA. His biggest accomplishment however, was leading team Sweden to a Gold Medal in the World Championship, following the conclusion of the season. Enroth showed patience, poise in handling the pressure he faced extremely well throughout the tournament. The timing will never be better for Enroth to be the starter for the Sabres, as he is approaching the prime of his career.
There is no denying the amount of talent that Ryan Miller has, as he is one of the best goalies in franchise history. Over the years, however, he has been known to speak his mind and throw his teammates under the bus. When you have a young team, this is the worst thing that you can have happen. The last thing rookies need is their goalie calling them out. It is obvious that Miller wants out of Buffalo and although he will most likely be with the team come September, I believe he will be traded at some point during the season, yet another reason why Enroth should be the starter.
As we all know, the Buffalo Sabres are in a rebuilding mode and what better way to start a rebuild then by naming a new starting goalie. Miller still has some game left, but is well past his prime, where Enroth is on the cusp of his prime. Ron Rolston loves to develop young talent, and although Enroth is already 25, I expect Rolston to split time with Enroth and Miller, to begin the season at least. May the better goalie win, but don’t be surprised to see Enroth pull away.
Finally, this will be one of the more interesting stories to follow as we near the beginning of training camp. Both Miller and Enroth deserve to be starting goalies, but only one will be satisfied. Based on the position the Sabres are in, and not just his recent success in the NHL, but in international play, all indications point to Jhonas Enroth being the starter, or at least the opportunity to compete for the job.