The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed defenseman Erik Johnson to a seven-year contract extension through the 2022-23 season.
Johnson, 27, finished tied for first among Avalanche defensemen with a career-high 12 goals last season despite missing the final 34 games of the year due to injury. He ranked second among Colorado defensemen with 23 points (12g/11a) while averaging a team-high 24:25 of ice time per game. Johnson was selected to his first NHL All-Star Game, the first Avalanche defenseman to be picked since Rob Blake in 2003-04.
“Erik is a big part of the core of this team,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President/General Manager Joe Sakic. “We felt it was important for our franchise to secure his rights for the long term as he enters the prime years of his career.”
The first-overall pick by St. Louis in the 2006 Entry Draft, Johnson was acquired by Colorado via trade on Feb. 18, 2011. He has recorded 193 points (48g/145a) in 456 career NHL games. During the 2013-14 season, Johnson set a career high with 30 assists and tied his personal best with 39 points in 80 games for the Avalanche.
“I’m humbled, honored and very excited to be part of this group for the next seven years,” said Johnson. “Thank you to the Kroenke family, Joe (Sakic), Patrick (Roy) and the entire Avalanche organization for their trust. And thank you to all the Avalanche fans for their support. I can’t wait to help bring the Stanley Cup back to Denver.”
A native of Bloomington, Minn., Johnson helped Team USA capture the silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He also helped the United States win the bronze medal at both the 2013 IIHF World Championship in Stockholm/Helsinki and 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden.