30-Year-Old Defenseman – Columbus Blue Jackets
Jack Johnson Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year extension with the Kings in January of 2011.
Johnson recorded a power-play assist and registered three shots on net during Friday's win over Buffalo.
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Jack Johnson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Johnson appeared in national news for the wrong reason last year, as he filed for bankruptcy after his parents seemingly bilked him out of all his money and left him deeply in debt -- ouch. But he responded to adversity by turning out perhaps his best NHL campaign yet, tying his career high in goals (eight) as part of a 40-point effort for the up-and-coming Jackets. He remains a crucial part of the team's power play and a top-pairing blueliner alongside partner David Savard, who himself broke out as an offensive force last year. The Jackets look like they're geared up to make a run to the playoffs, and Johnson should be an integral piece of the puzzle.
Johnson gets a lot of flak from the analytical crowd for being an overall liability on the ice, but fantasy owners have no complaints about the 33 points (18 of them on the power play) that he contributed last season. The workhorse defenseman logs big minutes and lays a lot of hits along with his man-advantage production. As the young Blue Jackets' roster continues to improve around him, Johnson might even be able to avoid being a slight drag on your plus-minus someday.
The blue line stalwart Johnson once again logged a lot of ice time (nearly 26 minutes a night) and chipped in solid production with 19 points in 44 games in his first full season with Columbus. He isn't going to be a top fantasy asset, especially on a Blue Jackets team that lacks a dynamic power play unit, but he managed a plus-5 rating over the last two months of the season and may be able to avoid being a liability in that category as the young club around him continues to improve.
Johnson thrived after being sent back east from the Kings, recording four goals and 14 points in 21 games with Columbus, while even managing to record a positive plus-minus, no mean feat on a team that finished the season dead last in the standings. The Blue Jackets will be scrambling for offense with Rick Nash now gone, but Johnson's place on the top power play unit is secure and he could have a chance to top his previous career-high of 37 points if the forwards show any signs of life at all.
Johnson set a career high in points (42) thanks to 25 helpers with the man advantage but still sported an ugly minus-21 due to his lack of production at even strength. The Kings have added some firepower up front with the additions of Mike Richards and Simon Gagne which could help out their power play but Johnson's going to need to improve his even strength play to take the next step. Expect another 40-point effort until he starts collecting points at even strength.
Johnson enjoyed a breakout season (8G, 28A) but was clearly overshadowed by Drew Doughty. He'll need to work on his defensive game (minus-15 last year) but he sees enough time on the team's second power play unit (2:48 of power play ice time per game, sixth on the team) to make the ugly plus/minus numbers a little easier to swallow. The Kings have a host of young blueliners looking for more ice time, but Johnson should be able to hold onto his role for at least one more reason.
Jackson battled a shoulder injury for half the season and never really got his game in order as a result. He's got a host of youngsters coming up behind him and has already been passed over by Drew Doughty. He'll rebound if he can stay healthy but his ceiling may be a lot lower than it looked two years ago.
Johnson's rookie effort (3 G, 8 A) was a disappointment to most fantasy owners but the Kings will rely heavily on the youngster to soak up some of the minutes that left with the departures of Rob Blake and Lubomir Visnovsky. Whether or not that results in an increased offensive role remains to be seen but it's hard to imagine Johnson won't post moderately better numbers in his sophomore season. Don't expect a breakout season but there is room for improvement.
The Carolina Hurricanes badly needed a defenseman early last season, so all the Kings had to give up for Johnson was defenseman Tim Gleason and forward Eric Belanger. The deal may eventually go down as one of the bigger steals in NHL history. Johnson is an elite defensive prospect who turned pro late in the season and played the final few games of the season with the Kings. He played very well in his brief time in the NHL and should get a ton of ice time this year, especially on the power play. He makes for a great selection in keeper leagues and could even have some fantasy value next season.
Johnson has steadfastly resisted the Hurricanes' entreaties to him to join the club, preferring to continue his college career at Michigan. There is a good chance, however, that he may make the jump when his sophomore season ends in the spring of '07. Last season, Johnson decided to stay in college, declining to sign with Carolina. But after being acquired by the Kings in September along with defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky in exchange for center Eric Belanger and defenseman Tim Gleason, Johnson had his sights set on the NHL and finally agreed to terms in March of 2007.
Johnson refused Carolina's contract offer and will play collegiate hockey at Michigan. Unless your league covers the CCHA, he won't generate anything for you.