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Offseason Questions with Erik Johnson

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues
With prospect camp underway at St. Louis Mills, we sat down to talk with rookie Blues defenseman Erik Johnson about signing his first pro contract, his college career and his summer vacation plans.


Q. How does signing your first professional contract compare with draft day?
A. “It’s awesome. It’s similar in a way, too, because it’s kind of like the same hyped up deal in the media. It’s great, it’s a lot of fun, and I’m really excited about everything.”

Q. What’s the biggest highlight of your brief college career?
A. “There was a lot of fun stuff this year. We won the regular season championship, we won a playoff championship, that was great. Getting some individual awards was nice. But the team stuff is nice. We hung two banners out of three, so that was the biggest thing and obviously the most fun.”

Q. How much are you looking forward to putting on a Blues jersey in the fall?
A. “I’m really excited. I put on a blue one at the draft, I put on a white one (on signing day), I wonder if they’ll give me a green one on opening day. But this is great. I can’t wait to do it.”

Q. How much did you follow the Stanley Cup playoffs?
A. “I followed them really close. I loved watching Pittsburgh. They’re just a fun team to watch. They’ve got Crosby, Malkin, Fleury and Staal. They were my favorite team to watch in the playoffs.”

Q. What summer vacation plans do you have before you get your pro career started?
A. “I’m going to go to LA with my advisors and Jonathan Toews and Jack Johnson and some guys to train. I’ll do stuff there. Maybe take a little family trip, but it’s going to be a big training summer for me and getting as physically and mentally ready for the grind of a pro schedule.”

Q. Speaking of training, what kind of training will you do to prepare for a career in NHL?
A. “Right now, I’ve been on the skating treadmill, which is just artificial ice with a treadmill. I’ve been doing that at Minnesota. It gets me in great shape. I’ve been doing a lot of leg stuff. Legs are the most important, and that’s something I want to improve on.”

Q. Will we find you in any major league baseball parks this summer?
A. “I haven’t been to a Twins game yet. I’ll be really excited when they get a new outdoor stadium because I don’t like indoor baseball. But I did go to a Cardinals game over the summer. It was really hot.”
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