Photo Courtesy of Garrett James

Fantasy Summary

A potential top-line center who thinks the game at a high level. He is crafty, creative, and can create dangerous plays. He has all the offensive tools to be an elite center in the NHL but will need to build a bigger frame.


Observations

Click to Expand

April 2022 – Johnson signed a three-year ELC with Columbus on Friday April 8 at the conclusion of his NCAA season for the University of Michigan. The contract will see the first year of the ELC completed with the completion of this NHL season. He amassed 37 points in 32 games, with 29 of those points being assists. Johnson is a supremely skilled forward who prefers to set up a play rather than finish it. Hopefully, in the NHL, he can pot for goals for fantasy GMs. Pat Quinn

 

July 2021 – Johnson was selected in the first round, 5th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2021 NHL Draft. Nick Richard

 

March 2021 – Michigan’s NCAA Tournament came to a premature end before they even played a game. Having been able to keep COVID out of the locker room in the new year, Michigan had to pull out of the tournament the day of their first game due to health and safety protocols. Johnson had a solid season where he was able to showcase his video game-like ability with the puck. He was just over a point-per-game player with Michigan putting up 27 points in 26 games. He may be one of the most highlight-heavy prospects in the class and there are some areas of improvement in terms of pace and skating paths that he will need to work on but the fact of the matter is that he has an enticing upside with his skill and swagger. Where he goes will dictate how well he’s developed with a good development system being necessary for Johnson reaching his full potential. Tony Ferrari

 

November 2020 – Johnson has made the transition from the BCHL to the NCAA appear seamless. Skating on an extremely exciting third line alongside fellow-2021 draft-eligible, Matt Beniers, Johnson has recorded seven points through his first four games. It certainly isn’t hurting matters that the University of Michigan squad is exceptionally skilled this season, but the 18-year-old has been making high-level plays. He doesn’t own burning speed, but he’s smart, shifty, and boasts excellent puck skills. This year’s forward group is lacking a standout so it’ll be a dogfight to see which one hears his name called first. Johnson’s start has put him right in that mix. Cam Robinson

 

August 2020 – Johnson played this season with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. He had a fantastic year scoring 101 points in 52 games, leading the entire league in points, and also putting up similar numbers to Avalanche prospect, Alex Newhook. Johnson ended up winning the Vern Dye Memorial Trophy for the most valuable player, as well as the Brett Hull Trophy for the BCHL top scorer. Johnson’s game revolves around lots of skill and offensive consistency. He is very shifty, patient, and does a great job of creating space for himself to make a play. He is an extremely confident and gifted puck-handler who possesses strong fluid edgework and can fool any opposing player in any area on the ice. Whether it’s off the rush, in the corners, or just a quick cut back through traffic, Johnson is hard to beat. He could work on his first few strides, as they can be weak at times. While more of a playmaker, Johnson has an excellent shot too and isn’t afraid to take the puck to the net for a scoring opportunity, as he also had a great backhander. Combine all these abilities; Johnson makes up for a solid power-play performer. This season 14 of his goals were scored on the powerplay. Johnson can even play on the penalty kill unit if needed. He is not an undersized skater, but he does need to add some more muscle to his body. The late-2002 center will head to a stacked University of Michigan team of the NCAA next season. Clare McManus 

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 9.0
NHL Certainty 9.0
Country CAN
Position C
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth October 18, 2002
Height 6‘1”
Weight 167 lbs
Drafted 2021 Round 1; Overall: 5

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2015-2016 North Shore WC U15 A1PCBHL- - -- -|        
 2016-2017 North Shore WC U15 A1PCBHL- - -- -|        
  Vancouver NW Hawks U18 AAABCEHL U184 1 12 0|Playoffs5 1 01
 2017-2018 Burnaby Winter Club U18 PrepCSSHL U1835 29 4675 2|Playoffs3 2 13
  Trail Smoke EatersBCHL2 0 00 2|        
 2018-2019 Trail Smoke EatersBCHL57 20 2646 24|Playoffs12 7 512
 2019-2020 Trail Smoke Eaters