Published by hockeybuzz.com, 5-26-2018
DOB: January 4, 1993 (Age, 25)
Draft: 2012 fifth-round (131st,) BOS
How acquired: FA
Last contract signed: July 1, 2017, 1yr./$650,000
Final year of contract: 2017-18
2017-18 Stats: 21 games played | 2 goals | 1 assist | 3 points | -6 | 10:34 ATOI
Buffalo Career Stats: 21 games | 2 goals | 1 assist | 3 points | -6 | 10:34 ATOI
What we wrote preseason: Another player signed by Botterill to bolster the Amerks. Griffith as proven he can score at the AHL-level with 202 points (66+136) in 203 games but that prowess hasn't transferred to the NHL yet (six goals, 10 assists in 56 games.)
What we wrote mid-season: Perhaps he was mislabeled when fans (myself included) called him this year's Derek Grant. Griffith scored two goals in 18 games for the Sabres this year while Grant had zero in 40 games for Buffalo last year (we won't talk about his seven goals and 15 points for Anaheim this year.) Griffith was originally signed for Rochester but injuries gave him an opening. He played as well as could be expected in a role that was beyond his talents. He was sent to Rochester after clearing waivers and is a great addition to the Amerks.
Impressions on his play this year: As an AHL/NHL tweener, Griffith played about as expected for both the Amerks and the Sabres. In Rochester he finished fifth on the team in scoring (15 goals 26 assists) despite playing anywhere from 11-20 fewer games than those in front of him. Griffith plays a good all around game but just doesn't seem to have enough speed or NHL skill to get him over the hump and into a steady job with the big club. That said, it's never a bad idea to have a player (or multiple players) like him in the system getting the job done in Rochester while filling in at the NHL-level.
Questions moving forward: Are the Sabres interested in re-signing him for that two-way, AHL/NHL tweener role? With a parade of homegrown youth ready for a shot at the big club, does he feel he'll have an adequate opportunity for NHL playing time in Buffalo? If he's offered a one-way, $650,000 salary, how much does that matter?
Contract info via CapFriendly, stats via sabres.com and hockey reference.com.