Introducing Steven Johnson
Fourth Round, 120th overall: Steven Johnson
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: NR
NHL Central Scouting midterm ranking: NR
Stats (USHL – Omaha): 56 GP 5 G 26 A 31 Pts 6 PIM
-Johnson is committed to the University of Minnesota in the fall.
Los Angeles Kings Amateur Scout – United States, Tony Gasparini:
On whether Steven Johnson will attend the University of Minnesota this year:
We’re going to determine that. We have to sit down both with Steven and the University of Minnesota, and map out his development map, which is going to best serve him and all parties involved. Right now, he has the option age-wise to go back to Omaha. The University of Minnesota does have a surplus of defensemen right now. Looking at the success that Paul LaDue had going that route, that’s what we’re probably looking at right now. But, of course, everything is open for discussion.
On the type of defenseman Johnson is:
First and foremost, he’s really kind of blossomed, and he’s your prototypical late-blooming kid. He was 5-foot-10 in Grade 12, and now he’s 6-foot-2 at age 19. He’s a young man that has done it the hard way in terms of the development path. He’s gone to the North American league first. Last year was his first year in the USHL. He was one of the most highly recruited players out of the USHL the first three months of the season. He’s a real cerebral, smart, puck moving defenseman that skates well.
Via Paul D. Bowker, USAHockey.com:
And now you can add Johnson to the who’s-who-in-Minnetonka list. The defenseman is playing for the U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. In early October he accepted a hockey scholarship at the University of Minnesota, where he will begin school in fall 2014. And he is one of the leading players on Omaha’s United States Hockey League team as a 19-year-old rookie.
“He’s been really, really good for us all year,” said Brian Kaufman, coach for the Omaha Lancers and a former college hockey star at Miami University. “He’s just such a good defenseman in the offensive and defensive zone. … He can play in any situation. He runs our power plays, [he is] on our penalty kill. He plays in every situation.”
Johnson is a native of Excelsior, Minnesota and has collected two assists over three games this season with the Lancers. He is part of a defensive unit that has yet to allow a goal while his plus-five rating is tied for the team lead. The 19-year-old defenseman was acquired by the Lancers with the 38th overall pick during the USHL Entry Draft in May after he played last season in the NAHL with the Aberdeen Wings. Johnson played high school hockey at Minnetonka High prior to that.
“We’re thrilled for Steven,” said Lancers Head Coach and General Manager Brian Kaufman. “He’s already established himself as a reliable two-way defenseman for us this year, and his skill set will translate well to the college game.”