NHL Rumors: Buffalo Sabres, and Jonathan Toews

The Buffalo Sabres have decisions on two prospects

Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News: The Buffalo Sabres are now able to sign 2019 first-round pick, 31st overall, defenseman Ryan Johnson. If they don’t decide to sign him, or if he doesn’t want to sign, the Sabres would receive a compensatory second-round pick.

If the Sabres feel they can do better with the second-round pick, they may choose to not sign him. The Philadelphia Flyers went this route with Jay O’Brien this year, and the Minnesota Wild did the same last year with Filip Johansson.

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The Sabres have a nice young nucleus on the blue line at the NHL level but are lacking a bit on the prospect level.

Injuries have stalled Aaron Huglen’s development since the Sabres drafted him in the fourth round of the 2019 draft and they’ll need to make a signing decision on him as well.

Lance Lysowski: The Sabres, Ryan Johnson and his agents had a zoom call yesterday, discussing the entry-level contract possibility. Have been told that there is no decision yet.

Joe Yerdon: “I’ll be curious to see what happens with Ryan Johnson and perhaps Aaron Huglen as well. Johnson either signs with Buffalo or can become a free agent in August. Huglen is 22 and while college IS fun, I wonder if it’s time to sign him and get him to Rochester.”

Jonathan Toews taking things in as the season winds down

Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews said he’s taking in these last few games, as he remains undecided on whether to retire after the season or play next year.

“I really worked hard and put a lot in to try to get back into the lineup before the end of the season, so I could have the opportunity to do this and really soak it in for myself,” he said. “I owe so much to the fans and the people in the city that made it so special to be a Blackhawk for all these years. I owe a lot to the organization; they’ve given me everything.

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“Sitting where I am right now, it’s hard to predict what the emotions will be like. But there’s no doubt that it’s starting to sink in, for sure.”

Ben Pope: Toews’s parents are going to be helping him with his future, and adds: “Even after my worst games, she always tells me how good I played. So I usually know where she stands on things.”