Sabres Sign Johansson, Petersen Turns Pro, and Giorgio Watch Is Still On

This afternoon the Sabres announced the signing of goalie prospect Jonas Johansson, who was drafted 61st overall in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Johansson, a product of the Byrnas system in Sweden, played 37 games for Almtuna in Allsvenskan, the Swedish second tier league. Johansson ranked 11th in the league with a .913 SV%, 2nd for U22 goalies. Standing at 6’4″, Johansson is a big and athletic goalie, who is capable of making big stops. At the end of last season he had a short stint in Rochester where he played 7 games, posting a 2.85 GAA and a .892 SV%. Not the prettiest numbers but not horrible for a young goalie getting his first taste of North American Hockey. He is expected to be the backup in Rochester next season where he will start his development.

It was also announced today that top Sabres prospect, Cal Petersen has decided to leave Notre Dame and turn pro.

While it remains to be seen whether or not Petersen will sign with the Sabres, fans should remain optimistic as Buffalo News writer, John Vogl, said “I would expect him to sign with Sabres based on my chat with Eichel today.” Petersen, the 129th overall pick in the 2013 draft, led Notre dame to the Frozen Four this past season with a .926 SV% and 2.22 GAA, earning himself a spot on First All-Star Team in the Hockey East. His 90 straight starts in the NCAA is top ten in history and his 87 save performance against UMASS his freshman year remains an NCAA record. Petersen is one of the best goaltender prospects in the NHL and signing him is among the top things on Jason Botterill’s to do list. The Sabres have 30 days to convince Petersen to sign before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

On the other hand the Sabres have only until tomorrow at 2 pm to make a decision on Giorgio Estephan before they relinquish his rights. A sixth round pick in 2015, Estephan has progressed very well over the past two years. After improving to 74 points in 2015-2016, he posted an 89 point year this past season for Lethbridge in the WHL. Estephan is a skilled centermen, who has the skating ability and smarts to make an impact at the next level. If the Sabres do not sign him, they will be losing a player who can add some offense to a depleted Rochester Americans team.

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