The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Jack Johnson to a five-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal runs through the 2022-23 campaign, and it carries an average annual value of $3.25 million.
Johnson's signing gives the Penguins five blueliners signed through at least the 2019-20 campaign, including Brian Dumoulin (2022-23), Kris Letang (2021-22), Olli Maatta (2021-22) and Justin Schultz (2019-20).
The 31-year-old Johnson just finished his 12th season in the NHL, including the past six-plus years with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Throughout his tenure with the Jackets, Johnson served as an alternate captain, including this past year, when he played in 77 games, recording 101 hits and 135 blocked shots. His 135 blocked shots were his best since his 2007-08 season with the Los Angeles Kings. Johnson logged 2:06 minutes per game while the Jackets were shorthanded.
The 6-foot-1, 227-pound blueliner played a key role in Columbus' emergence as a perennial playoff contender. Johnson was especially good in the Blue Jackets' 2014 First Round series against the Penguins, when he led his team with seven points (3G-4A) in the six-game series. In 23 career playoff games with the Blue Jackets and Kings, Johnson has 21 points (5G-16A).
Johnson, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, was originally drafted by Jim Rutherford and the Carolina Hurricanes with the third-overall selection in the 2005 NHL Draft, two picks after the Penguins chose Sidney Crosby with the top pick. Before Johnson reached the NHL, the Hurricanes traded him to the Kings in a four-player deal. Since debuting with the Kings late in the 2007 season, Johnson has played in 788 games, recording 278 points (66G-212A). His games played total is eighth-most among '05 draftees. He has played 74 or more games eight times in 10 full seasons.
Johnson, who Columbus originally acquired from the Kings in February of 2012 with a first-round pick in exchange for Jeff Carter, has extensive international experience competing for Team USA.Most notably, he won an Olympic silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
In addition, Johnson has suited up for the Americans in five World Championships and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He was the United States' captain in both the 2010 and '12 World Championships. Johnson's five goals in the 2009 World Championship led all tournament defenders.
Johnson's long list of accomplishments on the international stage began with a silver medal at the 2004 Under-18 World Junior Championship, followed by a gold medal the next year. He played for Team USA on the 2006 and '07 World Junior Championship squads, winning a bronze medal in '07, when he was also named one of the American's "Top Three Players."
Before turning pro with the Kings, Johnson skated for two seasons at the University of Michigan, where he was a First-Team All-American in 2007, and two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program. In 2002-03, Johnson was teammates with Crosby at Shattuck-St. Mary's, a boarding school and hockey powerhouse in Faribault, Minnesota. They led the team to win the 2003 USA Hockey Tier I AAA U18 Midget National Championship.