Jack Johnson (ice hockey)

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Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson 2018-11-07 1.jpg
Johnson with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2018
Born (1987-01-13) January 13, 1987 (age 33)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 227 lb (103 kg; 16 st 3 lb)
Position Defense
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh Penguins
National team  United States
NHL Draft 3rd overall, 2005
Carolina Hurricanes
Playing career 2007–present

John Joseph Louis Johnson III (born January 13, 1987) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman who is currently playing for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has previously played for the Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins. In his prime, he was known as a capable two-way defenseman, combining physical prowess and offensive capabilities in his style of play.[1]

Following two years with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, Johnson was selected third overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. After a year at the University of Michigan, his rights were traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He would play another year at Michigan before signing his first professional contract with the Kings. In February 2012, he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets after five seasons in Los Angeles. In 2018, he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in free agency. But after two disappointing campaigns,[2][3] he signed a one-year contract with the Rangers.

Johnson has represented the United States on the international stage multiple times, most notably playing for Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Playing career[edit]


Jack Johnson's family moved to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan from Indianapolis shortly after he was born. and he grew up playing for Little Caesar's in junior hockey. Johnson transferred to Shattuck-Saint Mary's Boarding School in Faribault, Minnesota before his eighth-grade year.[4] As a sophomore during the 2002–03 hockey season, Johnson scored 15 goals and 27 assists as he helped the school's Midget Major AAA team win the U.S. National Championship along with current NHL player and teammate Sidney Crosby.

Johnson was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round, third overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft from the Team USA under-18 national team, but did not immediately jump to the NHL, instead playing for the University of Michigan in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). In his freshman season, Johnson set school records for points (32) and penalty minutes (149) by a freshman defenseman. After his freshman season, however, with the Hurricanes needing a defenseman and Johnson having committed to another collegiate season (the Hurricanes had tried to sign him after his freshman season ended),[5] Hurricanes' General Manager Jim Rutherford traded Johnson's rights on September 29, 2006, along with Oleg Tverdovsky, to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Tim Gleason and Éric Bélanger.[6]

After his rights were traded, Johnson played one more season for the Wolverines, setting the school record for the most goals (16) by a sophomore defenseman in a single season and was named the CCHA Offensive Defenseman of the Year.[7] During his tenure at Michigan, Johnson became a fan favorite for his physicality and end-to-end play.[citation needed]

Johnson with the Los Angeles Kings in 2009


Los Angeles Kings[edit]

After Michigan lost in the West Regional Semi-finals of the 2007 NCAA Tournament, rather than return to Michigan and finish the semester, Johnson jumped to the NHL and signed his entry-level contract with the Kings in March 2007, making his NHL debut on March 29 against the Vancouver Canucks.[8] He would play five games on the season, recording 18 penalty minutes and no points. Johnson recorded his first NHL point on October 10, 2007, assisting a Kyle Calder goal in a loss to the Dallas Stars. His first goal came on October 19, 2007, against goaltender Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks. Johnson scored three goals and eight assists that season.

Early in the 2008–09 season, Johnson suffered a shoulder injury and missed 41 games after needing surgery.[9]

During the 2009–10 season, Johnson would greatly improve his game, scoring eight goals and 28 assists, second only to Drew Doughty in defensive scoring for the Kings. His play earned him a selection to the Team USA at the 2010 Olympics, along with Kings' captain Dustin Brown; the two eventually won the silver medal.

On January 8, 2011, Johnson signed a seven-year extension with the Kings. At the time of the deal, Johnson led all Kings' defensemen in points scored with four goals and 24 assists. The contract carried an annual $4.3 million salary cap hit.[10][11] He would end the 2010–11 season with a career-high 42 points, ranking sixth among all Kings skaters. His 2011–12 season with the Kings, however, would be a tough one, as he failed to score at the pace he set in the previous season, recording only 24 points in 61 games by February 12, 2012.

Columbus Blue Jackets[edit]

Johnson playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2013.

On February 23, 2012, Johnson was traded by the Kings to the Columbus Blue Jackets, along with a conditional first-round draft pick (Marko Daňo), in exchange for Jeff Carter.[12] Upon arriving in Columbus, Johnson took the jersey number 7, which had previously been worn by Carter. During a March 8 game against his former team, the Kings, the Blue Jackets offered their fans a one night offer to have their Carter jersey nameplates changed to "J. Johnson" nameplates for free.[13] Playing in 21 games for the Jackets after his trade, he recorded four goals and ten assists, for a total of 14 points.[14] Johnson declared that he had no hard feelings in leaving Los Angeles, given that "people [in Columbus] accepting me with such open arms,"[15] and "I was looking forward to my new opportunity and getting the chance to play and be myself in Columbus." Johnson added that he did not follow the Kings' subsequent run to win the Stanley Cup, as he was in Finland playing for Team USA at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.[16]

With the 2012–13 NHL lockout halting play to start the year, Johnson spent the lockout training so he would be in the top shape once the game returned.[17] In the shortened 2012–13 season, Johnson was one of the Blue Jackets' alternate captains, and was considered the de facto leader of the team as Columbus nearly qualified for the 2013 playoffs.[18] He scored one of his team's goals in the season closer against the Nashville Predators,[19][20] and broke the Blue Jackets record for most ice time in regulation, nearing 35 minutes in a game against the Detroit Red Wings, which was also the individual record for the season.[15] After his impressive showing of both on-ice skill and leadership, Johnson was considered a front-runner to become Columbus' first full-fledged captain since Rick Nash,[21] though the Blue Jackets ultimately named Nick Foligno as the team's next captain.[22]

Johnson struggled during the first half of the 2013–14 season, with only 11 points in 43 games by January,[23] a factor in the decision to not include Johnson on Team USA for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi[24] despite being considered by many to be a lock for the team.[25] His play would improve in the new year, however, and Johnson would score 22 points in the 39 remaining games to finish the year with five goals and 33 points and help the Blue Jackets clinch their first playoff berth since 2009. The Blue Jackets would face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs, but fell in six games. Johnson led all Blue Jackets players in playoff scoring, with three goals and seven points in the six-game series, including two assists in a narrow 4–3 loss on home ice that knocked the Blue Jackets out of the playoffs.[26]

On January 13, 2018, it was reported that Johnson requested a trade from the Jackets, citing a reduced role as well as a desire to better position himself as a free agent in the summer.[27] Despite his earlier trade request, Johnson remained a member of the Blue Jackets after the trade deadline had passed on February 26.

Pittsburgh Penguins[edit]

On June 27, 2018, it was reported that the Pittsburgh Penguins were interested in signing him in the free agency period.[28] Johnson's signing was made official by the Penguins on July 1, 2018, announcing a five-year, $16.25 million agreement.[29] Johnson wore number 73 for the Penguins as veteran Matt Cullen wore his usual number 7.[30] For the 2019–20 season, Johnson would again change his number from 73 to the number 3 following the departure of Olli Määttä, who previously wore number 3, from the Penguins.

On October 5, 2020, Jack Johnson was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the remaining three years on his contract.[31] [32] The following day, Johnson cleared waivers, making him a free agent.

New York Rangers[edit]

On October 9, 2020, Johnson signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the New York Rangers.[33]

International play[edit]

Johnson warming up before the preliminary round game against Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Medal record
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 2010 Vancouver
World Junior Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Sweden
World U18 Championships
Gold medal – first place 2005 Czech Republic
Silver medal – second place 2004 Belarus

Johnson was first selected to the United States junior team at the 2004 IIHF World Championship. Despite failing to medal in the 2006 World Junior Championships, he was selected to the All-Star Team of the Tournament.

Johnson was named to his first Olympic team on January 1, 2010. Johnson would march on behalf of the United States Olympic team in the opening ceremony in Vancouver on February 12, 2010, being the first American-born NHL player to march in the Olympic opening ceremony.[34] In six games with Team USA, Johnson collected one assist and helped claim a silver medal. In the following 2010 IIHF World Championship, he was selected and named as captain of Team USA.

Personal life and legal issues[edit]

He is married to Kelly Quinn, the sister of former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Brady Quinn.

On November 20, 2014, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Johnson had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, claiming just $50,000 in assets against $10 to $15 million in estimated debts.[35] Shortly after signing his first major contract, a seven-year, $30.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Kings, Johnson granted his mother, Tina Johnson, power of attorney over all his finances. Over the next few years, she and Johnson's father, John II, took out several large, high-interest loans against Johnson's future earnings, a lending practice known as "monetizing," and spent the money on homes, cars and travel.[36]

Lenders, among whom was Iowa Congressman-elect Rod Blum, eventually brought three lawsuits against Jack Johnson for defaulting on over $6 million in debt. In court documents, Johnson claimed to have had no knowledge of his parents' spending, but will not pursue criminal charges against them. He has sued Miller, National Mortgage Resources and an investment firm, CYA Investments, for at least $1.5 million, including for punitive damages.[35] By 2016, Johnson had come to an agreement with almost all of his creditors and agreed to liquidate two homes and a luxury car and would only keep $246,000 each of the next two seasons, making him the "lowest-paid player in the NHL for the next two seasons."[37]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2002–03 Shattuck-Saint Mary's Midget 48 15 27 42 136
2003–04 U.S. NTDP U17 USDP 31 12 9 21 78
2003–04 U.S. NTDP U18 NAHL 29 3 12 15 93
2004–05 U.S. NTDP U18 USDP 26 5 9 14 86
2004–05 U.S. NTDP U18 NAHL 12 7 10 17 57
2005–06 University of Michigan CCHA 38 10 22 32 149
2006–07 University of Michigan CCHA 36 16 23 39 83
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 5 0 0 0 18
2007–08 Los Angeles Kings NHL 74 3 8 11 76
2008–09 Los Angeles Kings NHL 41 6 5 11 46
2009–10 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 8 28 36 48 6 0 7 7 6
2010–11 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 5 37 42 44 6 1 4 5 0
2011–12 Los Angeles Kings NHL 61 8 16 24 24
2011–12 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 21 4 10 14 15
2012–13 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 44 5 14 19 12
2013–14 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 5 28 33 48 6 3 4 7 4
2014–15 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 79 8 32 40 44
2015–16 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 60 6 8 14 25
2016–17 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 5 18 23 32 5 1 1 2 0
2017–18 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 77 3 8 11 22
2018–19 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 82 1 12 13 41 3 0 0 0 6
2019–20 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 67 3 8 11 26 4 0 0 0 0
NHL totals 937 70 232 302 521 30 5 16 21 16


Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2004 United States U17 5 3 1 4 16
2004 United States WJC18 6 2 0 2 18
2005 United States WJC18 6 0 2 2 35
2006 United States WJC 7 1 5 6 45
2007 United States WJC 7 3 0 3 14
2007 United States WC 7 1 0 1 0
2009 United States WC 9 5 2 7 10
2010 United States OG 6 0 1 1 2
2010 United States WC 6 0 3 3 4
2011 United States WC 7 1 2 3 8
2012 United States WC 8 3 1 4 16
2016 United States WCH 2 0 0 0 0
Junior totals 31 9 8 17 128
Senior totals 45 10 9 19 40

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
All-CCHA Rookie Team 2005–06
All-CCHA First Team 2006–07 [38]
AHCA West First-Team All-American 2006–07
CCHA All-Tournament Team 2007 [39]



  1. ^ "Jack Johnson player profile". The Hockey News. March 4, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Cook, Ron (October 5, 2020). "Much-maligned Jack Johnson just didn't do enough for Penguins". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  3. ^ Marshall, Jesse (August 25, 2020). "Marshall: Why the 'anti-Jack Johnson people' are right". The Athletic. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  4. ^ http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/091505aaa.html
  5. ^ DeCock, Luke (May 2009). "Canes Grow from Within". The Hockey News.
  6. ^ "Canes trade top prospect Johnson in multiplayer deal". ESPN. October 1, 2006. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  7. ^ Colvin, Amber (March 26, 2007). "Star Defenseman Hits Road To NHL". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved October 8, 2008.
  8. ^ "Canucks top Kings, extend lead in Northwest". ESPN. March 29, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  9. ^ Elliott, Helene (October 13, 2008). "Update on Kings' Jack Johnson injury". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  10. ^ Hammond, Rich (January 8, 2011). "Details on Johnson's Contract". Los Angeles Kings. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  11. ^ "Jack Johnson, Defenseman, Los Angeles Kings". Archived from the original on October 17, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  12. ^ "Jeff Carter traded for Jack Johnson". ESPN. February 23, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  13. ^ "TONIGHT ONLY! Bring your Carter jersey to team store by end of 1st period, we'll change nameplate to J.Johnson for FREE! Quantities limited". Columbus Blue Jackets Official Twitter. March 8, 2012.
  14. ^ "Jack Johnson Career Stats". NHL.com. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Dillman, Lisa (February 5, 2013). "Former Kings defenseman Jack Johnson prospering in Columbus". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ "5 Questions: Jack Johnson likes carrying load in Columbus". CBC News.
  17. ^ Lisa Dillman (February 5, 2013). "Former Kings defenseman Jack Johnson prospering in Columbus". LA Times. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  18. ^ Portzline, Aaron (April 27, 2013). "Playoff believer". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  19. ^ "Gamcenter". NHL.com. April 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Miller, Rusty (April 27, 2013). "Blue Jackets win finale, but miss playoffs". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  21. ^ Allen, Kevin (February 1, 2013). "Who could be the Blue Jackets' next captain?". USA Today.
  22. ^ NHL (May 20, 2015). "Nick Foligno named sixth captain in Blue Jackets history". NHL.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  23. ^ Andrew Roman (January 10, 2014). "Fanning the Flames: Now Jack Johnson is Disappointed in USA Hockey". The Hockey Writers. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  24. ^ Andrew Roman (January 10, 2014). "Fanning the Flames: Now Jack Johnson is Disappointed in USA Hockey". The Hockey Writers. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  25. ^ Burnside, Scott (January 4, 2014). "How the U.S. hockey team was named". ESPN. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  26. ^ "Jack Johnson Career Stats". NHL.com. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  27. ^ "Report: Jack Johnson requests trade from Blue Jackets". Sportsnet.com. January 13, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  28. ^ Bombulie, Jonathan (June 27, 2018). "Penguins set to sign Jack Johnson, according to reports". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  29. ^ "Penguins Sign Defenseman Jack Johnson to a Five-Year Contract". Pittsburgh Penguins. July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  30. ^ Bombulie, Jonathan (July 2, 2018). "When it comes to jersey numbers, seniority rules for newest Penguins". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  31. ^ https://twitter.com/frank_seravalli/status/1313146689239347200?s=20
  32. ^ https://twitter.com/penguins/status/1313148660734099459?s=20
  33. ^ NHL.com (October 9, 2020). "Johnson agrees to one-year, $1.15 million contract with Rangers". NHL Enterprises. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  34. ^ "Jack Johnson will march in opening ceremony for U.S". CTV. February 8, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  35. ^ a b Portzline, Aaron (November 20, 2014). "Blind-sided: Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson is bankrupt; who led him there is biggest shocker". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  36. ^ Macramalla, Eric (November 25, 2014). "Bankruptcy Of NHL's Jack Johnson: Another Sad Case Of Parents Blowing An Athlete's Money". forbes.com. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  37. ^ Pack, Joe (November 12, 2016). "Report: Jack Johnson reaches bankruptcy settlement". sportsnet.ca. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  38. ^ "All-CCHA Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  39. ^ "2012-13 CCHA Media Guide". ISSUU.com. Retrieved April 23, 2014.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Andrew Ladd
Carolina Hurricanes first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Brandon Sutter
Preceded by
Andy Greene
CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman
Succeeded by
Tyler Eckford