Vancouver, B.C. – Sioux Falls Stampede defenseman Ryan Johnson became the 34th player to be selected by a National Hockey League team in team history Friday evening at Rogers Arena. The Minnesota Gopher commit was selected in the first round, 31st overall by the Buffalo Sabres.
“I’m really excited,” said Johnson. “It’s a special opportunity and I’m just looking forward to the future.
I met with [the Buffalo Sabres] a couple times… But I’m just grateful to be part of such a great organization."
Johnson tallied 25 points from six goals and 19 assists during the regular season and two goals and six assists for eight points during the playoffs.
He is the first player since Kieffer Bellows to be drafted in the first round and sixth player in team history: Bellows (2016, 16th overall), Jamie Oleksiak (2011, 14th overall), T.J. Oshie (2005, 24th overall), Joe Finley (2005, 27th overall), Thomas Vanek (2003, 5th overall).
The draft resumes tomorrow with rounds 2-7 at 12 p.m. CT at Rogers Arena.