Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Cal Petersen announced this afternoon he will forego his final season of NCAA eligibility with Notre Dame and sign a pro contact this summer.
Now, does that mean Petersen, 22, will sign with the Sabres, who drafted him in the fifth round, 129th overall, in 2013? Not necessarily.
The Sabres have 30 days to sign Petersen, one of the NCAA’s best goalies and the Fighting Irish’s captain. A press release from Notre Dame stated Petersen “could sign with the Sabres or become a free agent later this summer.”
“This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make because of how incredible of a place Notre Dame is to be both a student and an athlete,” Petersen said in a statement.
Petersen knows Buffalo well, having participated in four development camps. He also spent time with Sabres star Jack Eichel on Team USA at the World Championship earlier this spring.
Before former Sabres general manager Tim Murray was fired April 20, he said Petersen could start for the AHL Rochester Americans next season.
Petersen enjoyed a terrific junior season in 2016-17, going 23-12-5 with a 2.22 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and six shutouts in 40 games.
The Iowan ended his college career with 90 consecutive starts. Overall, he went 55-39-15 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in 110 games over three seasons.