At first look, many of the Buffalo Sabres followers could be stunned that the crew was in a position to recoup property for Johansson, as he has had a horrific season. He at present has a .884 save proportion (SV%) throughout seven begins for the crew, and when trying on the superior statistics, it doesn’t make him look higher. He at present ranks 53rd out of 71 goaltenders which have performed a minimum of two video games this season. So, the query must be, why did the Avalanche made a deal on Friday to accumulate this goaltender?
There are two sides to this. The Sabres simply signed goaltender Micheal Houser to a one-year, $700,000 contract and might be battling with Dustin Tokarski and Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen to play video games in Rochester. This made Johansson expendable. For the Avalanche, there was a priority over the play of their third-string goaltender Hunter Miska, and I imagine they’ve upgraded in that place.
To get a greater understanding, let’s take a deeper dive into what Colorado is getting in Johansson and what the Sabres are getting in Houser.
Colorado Will get an Common Third-String Goaltender
Primarily based on his play this season, the Avalanche usually are not getting an NHL-caliber goaltender, however he can play for his or her American Hockey League (AHL) crew with the Eagles. In 41 profession AHL video games with the Rochester Individuals, he has a file of 25-11-7, together with a .908 SV%. There’s sufficient pattern dimension to point that this participant is a median starter within the minors and might play a few NHL video games if somebody is injured.
The largest issue right here is that goaltenders are fully random, and their profession trajectory can change immediately on a brand new crew. Devan Dubnyk appeared like a goaltender that will be out of the league when the Minnesota Wild acquired him, however he ended up turning into a stable starter for them. Michael Hutchinson was traded to the Avalanche final season and really ended up enjoying video games for them within the second spherical when Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz each have been injured. He was in a position to assist the crew drive Recreation 7 in opposition to the Dallas Stars, together with his finest efficiency coming in sport six, the place he stopped 27 of 28 pictures.
Associated: Buffalo Sabres Report Card By way of First Half of Season
By no means write off a goaltender as they could be a wildcard. For Johansson, the chance to play in Colorado is larger than in Buffalo, as Francouz is on long-term injured reserve, and he can battle for a roster spot with Miska. Let’s see how he does with a contending crew in entrance of him.
What the Sabres Are Getting in Houser
Earlier than at this time, there’s a good probability that you just had by no means heard of this participant. Houser is a 26-year-old, undrafted goaltender with an AHL/ECHL journeyman to date in his profession. On the Sabres, he’ll doubtless be the fifth-string goaltender behind Tokarski and Luukkonen, and that’s mainly it.
his statistics, the previous London Knights goaltender has a .915 SV% throughout 210 video games within the ECHL and a .901 SV% throughout 73 video games within the AHL. At this level in his profession, he could be a mentor to a youthful goaltender inside the group, and that’s Erik Portillo, who was their 67th-overall decide within the 2019 NHL Draft. When he finally indicators a contract with the crew, he’ll doubtless begin within the Cincinnati Coyotes, doubtlessly enjoying with Houser.
There was no purpose to not signal this participant, as this group wanted so as to add depth for all positions.
Total, by simply watching him play in video games and practices, as John Vogl put it, Johansson doesn’t cease pucks and is very often out of place. A change in surroundings will doubtless assist him clear his thoughts and hopefully get into some video games with Colorado. For the Sabres, the trades are doubtless simply starting as we await the commerce deadline on April 12.
Jordan Jacklin is a contract author who covers the Buffalo Sabres right here at The Hockey Writers. Jordan is a pupil at Ryerson’s Sport Media program and makes use of analytics and video scouting to judge your favorite gamers within the sport.