When the Buffalo Sabres called Ryan Johnson's name Friday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, they made the defenseman both their second first-round pick of the night as well as the 11th American to be taken in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft.
Americans bookended the first round with Jack Hughes, who was taken first overall by the New Jersey Devils, and Johnson, drafted with the 31st and final pick of the round.
Buffalo used their first pick (seventh overall) on Canadian center Dylan Cozens, giving Buffalo top-end talent both down the middle and on the blue line.
Here's what NHL.com has to say about Johnson:
Committed to the University of Minnesota for 2019-20, the left-handed shot is an elite and elusive skater with a fluid stride with and without the puck.
He has good vision and plays a containment-type style with good touch on his passes. Johnson (6-0, 170), the son of former NHL forward Craig Johnson, had 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) and a Sioux Falls-high plus-24 rating in 54 regular-season games and eight points (two goals, six assists) and a plus-6 rating in 12 playoff games.
NHL.com analysis: The Sabres filled a need up front with Cozens, and now add a skilled defenseman who does everything well. With Rasmus Dahlin as the foundation and top prospects Mattias Samuelsson and Oskari Laaksonen close to joining him, Johnson will be allowed to develop his full skill set and become a big piece of a solid top-four on defense.