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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
24-year old defense prospect played 61 games for Columbus last season

Aaron Johnson
The Islanders have added organizational depth on the blueline by signing defenseman AARON JOHNSON to a one-year contract. The 24-year old Johnson played 61 games last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets and 3 goals and 10 assists. In 2005-06, the 6-1, 195-pound defenseman was 2-6-8 in 26 games with the Blue Jackets.

"Aaron is an important addition for the Islanders," said Ken Morrow, the team’s Director of Pro Scouting. "He is a talented, dedicated player and, at 24 years old, he’s just coming into his own as a defenseman. His acquisition gives us some depth on the blue line at the NHL level. Our scouts and our coaching staff are very enthusiastic about Aaron. He could eat up a lot of minutes and run our power play in Bridgeport (AHL) and he’s also a young player you’ll see in an Islanders uniform."

Matthew Spiller
Johnson, a Nova Scotia native, was originally selected by Columbus in the third round of the 2001 NHL Draft. In 2002-03, his final season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, he was 10-51-61 in 57 games with Rimouski and Quebec.

Over three seasons of minor pro with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, Johnson played 175 games and was 17-56-73 with 345 penalty minutes. Johnson was named the Crunch’s winner of the AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Syracuse community during the 2005-06 season.

Earlier in the week the Islanders signed another young defenseman, MATTHEW SPILLER, to a one-year deal. The 6-5, 233-pound Spiller was drafted by Phoenix in the second round in 2001 and played 59 games with the Coyotes. Last season with San Antonio (AHL), the 24-year old Spiller had one goal, 7 assists and 187 penalty minutes in 80 games.

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