TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed center Tyler Johnson to a three-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Johnson was scheduled to become a restricted free agent.
Johnson, 5-foot-9, 181 pounds, played in his first full NHL season in 2013-14 and parlayed it into a nomination for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. He was one of three players to appear in all 82 games during the regular season, ranking fourth on the Lightning for goals with 24 and fifth for points with 50. His plus-23 rating was second on the team. Johnson was third among NHL rookies for points and tied for first for goals. He led all NHL first-year forwards for average time on ice with 18:47 per game and face-offs taken with 1,275. Johnson became just the second rookie in NHL history, the first since Dennis Maruk in 1975-76, to record five power-play and five shorthanded goals in one season.
The Spokane, Washington native made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2014. Johnson played in all four games of the Lightning’s first round series against the Montreal Canadiens, recording a goal and two points. He has played in 96 career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay, notching 27 goals and 56 points.
Prior to joining the NHL ranks with the Lightning, Johnson played in 137 games with Tampa Bay’s top minor league affiliates, the Norfolk Admirals and the Syracuse Crunch, over the course of two seasons. During that time he amassed 68 goals and 133 points. Johnson was named the AHL’s most valuable player in 2013 and was named an AHL postseason First Team All-Star, as well as participating in the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic. He also played in 32 Calder Cup Playoff games during his AHL career. Johnson recorded 16 goals and 35 while winning the Calder Cup with Norfolk in 2012 and reaching the finals with Syracuse in 2013.
Johnson, an undrafted free agent, played in 266 WHL games during his junior career with the Spokane Chiefs and accumulated 128 goals and 282 points. He led the WHL for goals during the 2010-11 season with 53 in 71 games.
The 23-year-old recently finished representing the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Championships being held in Belarus. Johnson’s first appearance at the tournament, he recorded a team-high six goals in eight games while leading all Team USA forwards in average ice time, at nearly 21 minutes per contest. He was tied for second among all tournament skaters for goals.