CBJ signs 2021 first-round pick Kent Johnson to three-year ELC


The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed University of Michigan sophomore forward Kent Johnson to a three-year, entry-level contract beginning this season, general manager and alternate governor Jarmo announced today. Kekalainen. Johnson, who was selected by the Blue Jackets in the first round, fifth overall, in the 2021 NHL Draft, is expected to join the Blue Jackets on Monday.

“Kent Johnson is a remarkable young man, both on and off the ice,” Kekalainen said. “He is a highly skilled and creative player who can knock you out of your seat every time he is on the ice. We are thrilled to have him take the next step in his career and look forward to his growth and his contributions as Blue Jacket for years to come.”

Johnson, 19, finished his college career with 17 goals and 47 assists for 64 points with 10 penalty minutes, seven power-play goals, five game-winning goals, 127 shots and a cumulative rating of +41 over/under in 58 games over two seasons at Michigan. He was 8-29-37 with four PPG, four GWG, 74 shots on goal and was +25 in 32 outings in his sophomore campaign in 2021-22 to earn All-Big Ten honorable mention. He ranks fourth in the NCAA in assists per game (0.91), eighth T in assists and 17th T in points per game (1.16) and was tied for the team lead in assists and points per game. and ranked third-T in GWG and fourth-T in points.

A native of Port Moody, B.C., Johnson was named to the All-Rookie Big Ten team and earned an All-Big Ten honorable mention after going 18-9-27 in 26 appearances in 2020-21. He also ranked second in rookie rankings in the Big Ten and third nationally among freshmen in points per game (1.04).

Johnson made his international debut for Canada in 2021-22. He represented the country at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, finishing fifth in the tournament in over/under, sixth in assists and seventh in points with 1-4-5 and +4 in five games. He also skated for Canada at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pound center had 61-86-147 and 40 penalty minutes in 111 career outings with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BC Hockey League from 2017-20. He led the BCHL in goals, assists and points in 2019-20 with 41-60-101 and 14 power-play goals in 52 games during the 2019-20 regular season. He received BCHL Most Valuable Player (Vern Dye Memorial Trophy), Top Goalscorer (Brett Hull Trophy) and Most Athletic Player (Bob Fenton Trophy) awards following his 2019-20 campaign.



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