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Sabres sign prospect goalie Johansson to entry-level deal

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The Buffalo Sabres have signed prospect goaltender Jonas Johansson to a three-year entry-level contract, following the 21-year-old puckstopper’s brief stint in the American Hockey League this past season.

The Sabres selected Johansson in the third round, 61st overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. He spent three seasons with Swedish club Almtuna IS, before coming over to North America and playing seven games for the Rochester Americans on an amateur tryout.

In those seven contests, he allowed 20 goals against, although that’s a small sample size of work in the minors.

While the Sabres got Johansson under contract, they have another prospect netminder, Cal Petersen, who had been weighing his options for next season.

Petersen, selected in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, has spent the last three years at the collegiate level, playing for Notre Dame. He was one of five Richter Award finalists for the top NCAA goalie this year. While he recently spent time with Team USA at the World Hockey Championships as the No. 3 goalie, he had the option of returning to Notre Dame for his senior year.

“I haven’t decided that yet,” Petersen told USA Hockey of his potential future plans during the tournament. “I’m giving this opportunity as kind of a big measuring stick to see where I match up and see if I can be successful and compete at this level, so this is a huge opportunity for me to help clear up any questions I would have had about what to do for next year.”

According to the Buffalo News, Sabres’ star forward Jack Eichel was able to talk to Petersen while together at the international tournament.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to him,” said Eichel. “It’s his decision. I told him, ‘You’ve got to do what’s best for you at all times, but if you have any questions, if you need anybody to talk to about it, about the process, the situation, you can reach out to me.’”