I hope he plays in AHL and gets mid season call up due to injuries. He has been playing with men for 2 years and I think adjusting to the NA style and ice would be good for him. 40 or so games should be enough, hopefully he plays well!
Wouldn't Buffalo have to loan him to the WJC team for a few weeks? They didn't send Girgensons last year (I think) so I wouldn't expect them to send Ristolainen this year.
I questioned it at the time, but it was fine for ZG in the end. Two different cases, though. ZG was playing with adults for the first time in the AHL this year, and wasn't allowed to go. Ristolainen won't go and he has already been playing vs. adults (wont drop down to play vs. just juniors?)
Also think the strength of the Finland team versus Latvia is reason to separate the two cases as well, though in the end, you're right... He won't go either.