Ryan Johnson’s preseason and early-season efforts have paid off with the Rochester Americans, and now, he gets a shot with the Buffalo Sabres.
Ryan Johnson is just about ready to make his NHL debut, and you will probably be reading this after he’s already hitting the ice. We’ll see if Johnson can make an impact during his time in Buffalo, which should last at least a week with blueliner Mattias Samuelsson missing time with an injury, though he won’t be out long, if the following statement holds true:
"“Johnson will make his NHL debut against the Maple Leafs, Granato announced. The Sabres received good news regarding Samuelsson’s injury and do not expect him out long-term, but he will miss a minimum seven days on injured reserve.”"
Source: Sabres recall Johnson from Rochester by Jourdon LaBarber, Sabres.com
Overall, this was the right move from the Sabres, given the way Johnson has played so far in Rochester, and really, how he has fared since the Prospects Challenge in mid-September. It took Johnson until earlier this year to sign with the Blue and Gold, but it’s been worth the wait, and now, he gets a chance to make an impact in his long-awaited debut.
Buffalo Sabres were correct to give Ryan Johnson a chance
He hit a few speed bumps in the preseason, and that, paired with the fact there were more experienced defensemen on the roster like the newly-signed Connor Clifton and Erik Johnson, meant there was no more room for Johnson. Sure, the Sabres could have sent down Jacob Bryson, but that would have been a financial hit, and they had also sent down Riley Stillman, further leaving Johnson as the odd man out.
But, now that the Sabres had a shortage of blueliners given Samuelsson’s injury early in yesterday’s contest, they had to bring someone up. Part of me barely paid attention to this news earlier today, as I was sure it was going to be Stillman, so it goes without saying that I was pleasantly surprised to see Don Granato, Kevyn Adams, and Company give Johnson his chance.
As mentioned earlier, Johnson will have already taken the ice by the time you read this. And deservedly so. Let’s see what he has in store for us for his first contest in a Buffalo Sabres uniform against those pesky Toronto Maple Leafs.