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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Johnson signed a one-year deal to return to the Sabres this season after appearing in 45 games for them during the 2015-16 campaign. The Saskatchewan native had a nice stretch near the beginning of 2016-17, but he ultimately regressed into mediocrity as the season wore on, finishing with a .910 save percentage and 2.59 GAA to go with an 18-15-1 record. With Robin Lehner entrenched as Buffalo’s starter, it would take a major injury -- which happened in 2015-16 -- or a serious loss of talent for Johnson to receive significant playing time, making the latter nothing more than a handcuff at this juncture.
Johnson’s the definition of a journeyman – after signing him to a one-year deal in July, the Flames have become his sixth different franchise in a six-season span. He’ll serve as the backup to Brian Elliott, which will limit his playing time, but also leaves him with some upside for deeper formats – after all, Johnson’s got a solid .917 career save percentage, and Elliott has only made 50 stars once in his career. That means the Saskatchewan native could easily carve out 25 or so starts behind a Flames defense that isn’t as bad as last year’s goalies made it seem. Of course, that’s well short of last year’s 40 starts, so unless Elliott suffers an injury, Johnson’s fantasy prospects will certainly be dimmer than they were in 2015-16.
Keep an eye on this guy. Johnson will be an under-the-radar twinetender on a struggling team. But newly anointed starter Robin Lehner has never been a full-timer in the NHL and is coming off a concussion. Johnson will not only steal starts, but can take stretches of games, too. He’s not a No. 1 talent by any means, but he could be looking at an almost even platoon split by season’s end if Lehner struggles or gets hurt. Johnson is probably best suited as a waiver pickup if both opportunity and excellence occur. That may be a bit much to ask, but it bears watching.
Johnson had an impressive season last year as a backup goaltender for the Bruins as he posted a GAA of 2.10 and a save percentage of .925 but like Jaroslav Halak, that was with one of the best defenses in the NHL playing in front of him. Johnson will once again start this season as the backup but if Halak were to falter he could get more starts than what a normal backup would.
The 27-year-old Johnson recorded a 2-0-2 record with a 1.21 goals against average and a .954 save percentage with one shutout in four games for the Coyotes this past season. He's now in line to compete with Niklas Svedberg for the Bruins' No.2 goaltending assignment behind Tuukka Rask.
The Coyotes signed Johnson to a one-year, two-way contract in July 2012 after the goalie posted a 22-18-6 record with a .919 save percentage and 2.49 GAA with the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Connecticut. While Johnson has NHL experience, he's a depth signing who will spend much of the season with Portland.
Johnson was used sparingly by the Rangers last season after Stephen Valiquette was waived back in December of 2009. He appeared in five games last season, posting a 1-2-1 record to go along with a solid 2.35 GAA. The former fifth-round draft pick was the number one goalie for the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack, where he delivered a sound 24-18-2 record with a 2.54 GAA and three shutouts. While it seems like the 24-year-old might have a decent future ahead of him, it will have to wait at least two seasons. The Rangers brought in veteran Martin Biron on a two-year deal to back up Henrik Lundqvist, so Johnson’s immediate future appears to be stuck in Hartford.