It was largely seen as a depth move when Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin signed undrafted free agent Ryan Johnston to a two-year two-way deal after impressing the team brass during this past summer's development camp. However the speedy defender continued to impress during the rookie tournament in September and suddenly there was a buzz about the young defender fighting for a spot on the Habs roster.
But as fast as his star was rising, it all came crashing down just as fast. After playing a few preseason games, Johnston was suddenly made a scratch for the remainder of the preseason before being part of the first wave of cuts to the AHL IceCaps.
When the AHL preseason started he was listed as injured, but the severity of the injury wasn't know until a few weeks later when it was revealed that he had back surgery in early October on a herniated disc that was affecting the strength in his leg. The surgery in effect put him on the shelf for an extended period of time, with the expected recovery time for this type of surgery (L5-S1) being four months before physical exertion can begin.
A few weeks ago Sylvain Lefebvre was mentioned as saying that Johnston will be returning to the IceCaps mid-January, which is great news for the player, placing him right on track with the anticipated recovery window, not to mention the organization who have been weathering a storm of injuries and call-ups that have depleted their roster.
Returned from injury:
Jeff Petry (D, NHL) was injured on December 19th against Dallas when he took a solid bodycheck from Jamie Benn. He was listed day-to-day, and missed two games.