The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Friday that the NHL club has signed Michigan sophomore forward Kent Johnson to a three-year, entry level contract beginning this season.
Johnson, who was selected by the Blue Jackets in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft, is expected to join the Blue Jackets on Monday. He’ll forgo his junior and senior seasons with the Wolverines.
“Kent Johnson is a remarkable young man both on and off the ice,” said Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen in a statement. “He is a highly-skilled and creative player who can bring you out of your seat whenever he’s on the ice. We’re thrilled that he is taking the next step in his career and look forward to his growth and contributions as a Blue Jacket for years to come.”
Johnson finishes his college career with 17 goals and 47 assists for 64 points with 10 penalty minutes, seven power-play goals, five game-winning goals, 127 shots and a cumulative plus-41 plus/minus rating in 58 games over two seasons at Michigan. He collected an 8-29-37 line with four power-play goals, four game-winning, 74 shots on goal and was plus-25 in 32 outings in his sophomore campaign in 2021-22 to earn honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.
A native of Port Moody, B.C., Johnson was named to the Big Ten all-rookie team and earned honorable mention all-Big Ten honors after collecting 9-18-27 in 26 appearances in 2020-21. He also ranked second in rookie scoring in the Big Ten and third in the nation among freshmen in points per game (1.04).
Johnson made his international debut for Canada in 2021-22, representing the country at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.