The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Jacob Bryson to a three-year entry-level contract. The deal will begin for the 2019-20 season, but Bryson has signed an amateur tryout to join the Rochester Americans for the rest of this year. The 21-year old recently completed his junior season at Providence College, but will not be returning to the NCAA.
Bryson may not be a household name, but he certainly shouldn’t be overlooked as an NHL prospect. The 5’9″ 178-lbs defenseman was selected 99th overall in 2017 and has developed into one of the better college players in the country. Recording 28 points in 42 games this season for Providence he was named to the Hockey East Second All-Star team (he was a First All-Star last year) and won the conference Sportsmanship award for the second consecutive year. There are few players in all of college hockey that can skate as well as Bryson, who uses elite acceleration and edge work to make up for his lack of size in the defensive zone.
The Sabres have several young defensemen in the organization now, including NHL stalwarts Rasmus Dahlin, Rasmus Ristolainen and Brandon Montour. While Bryson has a long way to go to be considered part of that group, his addition only strengthens the positional depth for the Sabres and gives them another option to break camp with as early as next season. More likely the youngster will have to spend some more time and the AHL level, but as contracts for Zach Bogosian, Marco Scandella and Matt Hunwick start to expire—all three are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2020—Bryson will surely get a chance to show what he can do at the NHL level