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Avalanche Signs Jack Johnson

Veteran defenseman inks one-year deal after attending camp as PTO

by Colorado Avalanche @Avalanche /

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed defenseman Jack Johnson to a one-year contract for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Johnson was invited to the Avalanche's training camp as a professional tryout (PTO).

Johnson, 34, has skated in 950 career NHL regular-season games, tallying 303 points (71g/232a). The Indianapolis, Indiana, native ranks 22nd all-time among American-born defensemen in games played. Entering what is now his 16th year in the NHL, Johnson's career has included stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers.  

Johnson has also dressed in 30 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests, notching 21 points (5g/16a). He spent the 2020-21 campaign with the Rangers but appeared in only 13 games due to injury. The 6-foot-1, 227-pound rearguard skated in a team-high five of Colorado's six games this preseason, notching three assists.

"Jack is a veteran defenseman that we brought into camp to help shore up our depth on the back end," said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic. "He provides a steady presence and brings a lot of NHL experience to our team. We like what he has added to our blue line over the past few weeks and we're pleased to have him on the club as we head into the start of the season."

Selected by Carolina with the third overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Johnson spent his first five-plus NHL seasons with the Kings after being acquired by Los Angeles on Sept. 29, 2006. He finished second among Kings defensemen with 36 points (8g/28a) in 2009-10 and led all Kings blueliners with 42 points (5g/37a) in 2010-11. Johnson was traded to the Blue Jackets on Feb. 23, 2012. 

With the Blue Jackets, Johnson finished first among Columbus defensemen in hits (180) and blocks (127) in 2013-14 and was first in blocks (131) in 2014-15. He led the Blue Jackets with seven points (3g/4a) during the 2014 playoffs. The left-shot defender signed as a free agent with Pittsburgh on July 1, 2018 and spent two seasons with the Penguins before joining the Rangers as a free agent on Oct. 9, 2020.

Johnson has appeared in all 82 games on four different occasions during his career, 2010-11 with Los Angeles, 2013-14 and 2016-17 with Columbus and 2018-19 with Pittsburgh. 

A product of the United States National Team Development Program, Johnson won a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. He has also represented his country at five IIHF World Championships (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), two IIHF World Junior Championships (2006, 2007), two IIHF Under-18 World Championships (2004, 2005) and the World Cup of Hockey (2016). He served as captain of the U.S. Men's National Team at both the 2010 and 2012 IIHF World Championships. Johnson won gold at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship, silver at the 2004 IIHF Under-18 World Championship and bronze at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Johnson made his NHL debut with the Kings on March 29, 2007 after completing his sophomore season at the University of Michigan. He was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team in 2005-06 after setting a school freshman record for points with 32 (10g/22a). He followed that up by being named to the CCHA First All-Star Team and NCAA West First All-American Team as a sophomore in 2006-07.

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