30-Year-Old Defenseman – New York Rangers
Aaron Johnson Contract Information:
Signed a one-year deal with the Rangers in July of 2013.
Johnson was assigned to AHL Hartford on Wednesday.
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Aaron Johnson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Johnson played in 56 games last season with the Blue Jackets, recording career highs in assists, with 13, and points, with 16. The 29-year-old defenseman has played in 281 career NHL games, totaling 62 points and 217 penalty minutes. He projects as a depth blueliner for the B's, one of a handful of players who will battle for the team's No. 6 and No. 7 defense slots.
Veteran defenseman will likely ride the NHL-AHL shuttle in his return to Columbus.
Johnson played 41 games between Calgary and Edmonton last season, recording four goals and six assists. With only 46 points in 225 career games, he's not much of a scorer, but plays a pretty solid defensive game - as evidenced by his career plus-13 rating - despite playing on some lackluster teams. He will likely spend the season at AHL Milwaukee.
Johnson missed a big chunk of time last season because of an arm injury. Was on the ice for 38 games, registering three goals and five assists with a plus 19 and 33 penalty minutes. Will have a tough time making the team at the start of the season as the Hawks have a wealth of defensemen.
Johnson appeared in 30 games for the Islanders last season, notching two helpers. He signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks in July and is currently battling for one of the final roster spots on the team. He would be utilized as a depth defenseman and doesn't figure to have much of a fantasy impact.
Johnson's knack for scoring in the QMJHL has yet to transfer over to the NHL or even the AHL. He's just 24 though, so he still has time to progress. His roster spot with the Isles will depend on how well he performs in training camp.
Johnson didn't look out of place in a 26 game trial with the Blue Jackets last season, recording a +9 and eight points. Expect him to stick as a top-six defenseman in Columbus this season, with 25-30 points and a solid PIM total.
He's not quite ready for the NHL, but the signings of Adam Foote and Bryan Berard will give him all the time he needs to develop down on the farm. Johnson may not have elite-level offensive upside, but he's more than talented enough to be a top-four NHL defenseman once he fills out.