Adam Johnson

Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL.com

Fantasy Summary

Johnson’s explosive skating, big shot and versatility will serve him well as a pro. A potential top-six forward.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 5.5
NHL Certainty 6.5
Country USA
Position LW
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth June 22, 1994
Height 6‘0”
Weight 175 lbs
Drafted No

Observations

July 2020 – After a strong showing at the Penguins training camp, Johnson has made the postseason roster and will travel with the team to Toronto for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Coach Mike Sullivan admires his fast pace play and two-way abilities. Clare McManus

April 2020 – The impending RFA had a very good year with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He led the team in points with 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points in 48 games this season. Johnson also played seven NHL games this year, scoring one goal and adding a helper for two total points. As an important depth role to the Penguins, he should be re-signed come summer. Clare McManus

January 2020 – Not that he’s complaining, but the seven NHL games he’s played in has limited Johnson’s AHL totals this season. Still, besides a goal and an assist in seven NHL appearances, the 25-year-old leads Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in points per game with five goals and 15 assists in only 24 outings. Soon to be an RFA, good production should earn him a contract to stay in Pittsburgh’s organization. Mark Allan

November 2019 – After giving injury-depleted Pittsburgh a lift on an emergency fourth line with fellow prospects Sam Lafferty and Joseph Blandisi, Johnson sat out two games with an upper-body injury. After posting a goal and an assist in seven NHL games, he was sent back to the AHL, where he has four helpers in three games. It’s a pivotal campaign for the 25-year-old, who becomes a restricted free agent after the season. Mark Allan

October 2019 – In a huge outing for a trio recently promoted from the AHL as injury replacements, Johnson scored his first big-league goal. In just 13 shifts and 7:36 of total ice time, he added an assist and finished plus-2 with two shots on goal. Johnson combined with Sam Lafferty and Joseph Blandisi on the LBJ Line to help the depleted Penguins outscore the Wild 7-4 in Johnson’s home state of Minnesota. Johnson went pointless the next day in a 7-2 romp over Winnipeg, but hustled and played well. Mark Allan

October 2019 – Johnson was recalled from the AHL due to a slew of Pittsburgh injuries that is beginning to rival the 10 plagues of ancient Egypt. Patric Hornqvist (lower body, day to day) joins fellow hurt forwards Evgeni Malkin, Nick Bjugstad, Alex Galchenyuk and Bryan Rust. Who knows how coach Mike Sullivan will deploy Johnson, who had two assists in one Wilkes-Barre/Scranton game? Mark Allan

September 2019 – Johnson’s two-way contract and a glut of NHL-ready forwards ahead of him on the organizational depth chart made his demotion to the AHL all but inevitable. On the bright side, he survived two large-scale rounds of cuts. He should be one of the first callups in case of injury or slump, although first he must recover from a lower-body injury. Mark Allan

July 2019 – Johnson signed a contract that keeps him in the organization but offers no job security. His new one-year, two-way agreement carries a $700,000 annual average value at the NHL level, and much less in the minors. The speedy 25-year-old, who has improved his strength and conditioning, was seventh in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scoring with 43 points in 67 outings and is on the bubble of making Pittsburgh’s opening-day lineup. His short-term fate will be affected by the acquisition of grinding forward Brandon Tanev as well as how the Pens manage to sign RFAs Zach Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger and Marcus Pettersson with only about $2 million in cap space. Mark Allan

June 2019 – A promising sophomore pro campaign in which he played his first six NHL games (two assists) and increased his offensive numbers across the board from his rookie AHL schedule earned Johnson a qualifying offer. Like other Pittsburgh RFAs who are not part of the team’s core, he can expect a short-term bridge contract. The Penguins are curious to see what the 25-year-old’s upside might be. Mark Allan

April 2019 – In a disappointing campaign for the AHL Penguins, who missed the Calder Cup playoffs for the first time since 2002, Johnson was a solid fourth in team scoring with 43 points, including 18 goals, in 67 games. In a six-game NHL début, he registered two assists in six games. The RFA speedster, one of many free agents in Pittsburgh’s system, has likely done enough to earn another contract. The six-footer could help himself by adding some muscle to a 175-pound frame. Mark Allan

January 2019 – Two goals lifted Johnson into third place in team scoring, but he couldn’t save Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from allowing four special team scores and losing 5-3 to Hershey. WBS, used to dominating its AHL division, fell to 19-18-4-1 as Johnson reached 12 goals to go with 13 assists in 42 games. At minus-four, he is the only one among the Penguins’ top-five point-getters who is on the wrong side of zero, although the impending RFA is tied for the team lead with five power play goals. Mark Allan

November 2018 – After eight AHL games, Johnson was third in team scoring with five points, including two goals (one of them a GWG) and a minus-1 rating. It’s not a blazing start for the speedster but his numbers project to about 20 goals, which would be about double his 11 in 70 outings for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season. Mark Allan

September 2018 – One of a batch of 18 players assigned to Pittsburgh’s AHL farm team, the speedy winger has a better chance than most of them of playing his way back to the NHL. Considering the organization’s glut of young wingers, it will not be an easy climb. He registered a goal and plus-1 in two NHL pre-season appearances. Mark Allan

September 2018 – Johnson’s on-ice calling card has always been his speed. He worked during the summer to improve his strength, although the 6-0, 174-pounder still has some room for improvement judging from his play at the recent Prospects Challenge. At 24, the former Minnesota-Duluth forward has the benefit of maturity over younger players with whom he’s competing for roles on the NHL and AHL Penguins. He gained valuable pro experience with an 11-goal, 31-point, 70-game campaign with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Expect him to get more AHL seasoning. Mark Allan

May 2018 – The speedy, versatile forward completed an underwhelming AHL debut with 11 goals and 20 assists in 70 outings, adding one goal in three post-season games as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was bounced from the opening round of the AHL playoffs by the Charlotte Checkers. Considering he played just two NCAA schedules before turning pro, the 175-pound Johnson might begin to show his true measure in a second pro campaign. It will be an important one for him because he’ll be an RFA after it. Mark Allan

December 2017 – Capable of playing all three forward positions, Johnson is learning the ropes as an AHL rookie with two goals and 10 points in 21 games. His numbers would rise if he could improve an anemic 5.9 shooting percentage. The Penguins should get a better read on him in his second minor-pro season. Mark Allan September 2017 – The late-blooming winger was among 21 players assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL for his pro debut after two NCAA seasons with the U of Minnesota-Duluth. The mass demotions leave 26 players in training camp before final cuts. Mark Allan    July 2017 – Continuing his aggressive pursuit of NCAA free agents, Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford plucked Johnson after just two seasons at the U of Minnesota-Duluth as well as two USHL campaigns with the Sioux City Musketeers. The Minnesota native signed a two-year, entry-level contract after impressing the Penguins at their summer development camp. After 46 points as a USHL rookie, he racked up an eye-popping 71 points in 59 games with the Musketeers, nonetheless flopping in his first NCAA try with only 18 points in 39 games as the going got tougher. That disappointment was quickly forgotten when he became the second-best Bulldogs’ scorer with 18 goals and 37 points in 42 games for the national runners-up. His versatility also appealed to the Pens. As well as playing all three forward positions, Johnson dropped back to help when several blueline Bulldogs were hurt. Johnson played some point on the power play. NHL Central Scouting was intrigued by Johnson five years ago in his first year of NHL draft eligibility. In spite of dynamic skating, NHL teams soon lost interest due to physical immaturity and a lack of drive against sub-par high school opponents. Fast forward to today and you see a bigger, stronger, more mature player who handles physical play better while retaining his swift skating and superior shot. He’ll undoubtedly play in the AHL to begin his pro career. Mark Allan


Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2009-2010 Hibbing/Chisholm High USHS-MN 24 8 15 23 8 | Playoffs 3 1 1 2
 2010-2011 Hibbing/Chisholm High USHS-MN 25 34 36 70 8 | Playoffs 3 4 6 10
  Hibbing/Chisholm High MN State 3 4 1 5 0 |          
 2011-2012 B17 - Blue (Final 54) MNHP-17 3 0 1 1 - |          
  Hibbing/Chisholm High USHS-MN 20 24 28 52 14 | Playoffs 3 4 3 7
  Team North UMHSEHL 21 9 8 17 8 | Playoffs 3 0 0 0
 2012-2013 Hibbing/Chisholm High USHS-MN 24 16 27 43 70 | Playoffs 2 4 0 4
  Team North UMHSEHL 21 6 8 14 14 | Playoffs 3 1 0 1
  Indiana Ice USHL 6 0 2 2 0 |          
 2013-2014 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 56 15 31 46 25 | Playoffs 8 4 3 7
 2014-2015 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 59 31 40 71 24 | Playoffs 5 1 2 3
  Sioux City Musketeers JCWC 5 6 3 9 2 |          
 2015-2016 Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth NCAA 39 6 12 18 8 |          
 2016-2017 Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth NCAA 42 18 19 37 18 |          
 2017-2018 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 70 11 20 31 16 | Playoffs 3 1 0 1
 2018-2019 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 6 0 2 2 0 |          
  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 67 18 25 43 27 |          
 2019-2020 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 7 1 1 2 2 |          
  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 48 10 24 34 12 |          

Highlights