Johnson with the Avalanche in 2014
March 21, 1988|
Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||231 lb (105 kg; 16 st 7 lb)|
St. Louis Blues
|National team||United States|
1st overall, 2006|
St. Louis Blues
Erik Robert Johnson (born March 21, 1988) is an American ice hockey defenseman currently playing and serving as an alternate captain for the Colorado Avalanche in the National Hockey League (NHL). Nicknamed The Condor, Johnson formerly played for the St. Louis Blues, with whom he began his NHL career. Additionally, he has represented the United States in numerous tournaments.
Johnson, the first overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, was drafted by the Blues from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and played one season at the University of Minnesota before joining the NHL with St. Louis in 2007–08.
Johnson played hockey for the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minnesota, where he starred in his two seasons as a freshman and sophomore at the prep school. In the 2003–04 season he led all defenseman in scoring with 13 goals and 34 points to be selected to the Missota All-Conference Team. As a 16-year old Johnson transferred to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to play for the National Team Development Program (NTDP).
In the 2004–05 season, he split time between the U.S. National under-17 and under-18 squads, compiling 26 points in 57 games, tops amongst defenseman. Having been scouted as being tailored to suit the professional ranks with his hybrid two-way style and physicality, Johnson continued his rise in development the following season with a team-leading 49 points in 47 games with the under-18's. While also having a major impact at the junior international stage, Johnson was selected first overall in the 2006 NHL Entry draft by the St. Louis Blues. He became the first American-born defenseman to be selected first overall without having played Canadian major junior or collegiate hockey. He joined a select group of five (now eight following Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews, and Jack Hughes) Americans to have been chosen first overall in an NHL Entry Draft, along with Rick DiPietro (2000), Bryan Berard (1995), Mike Modano (1988), and Brian Lawton (1983).
Having committed to the University of Minnesota, Johnson also became the first Golden Gopher and Minnesotan to be taken first overall. Despite the willingness to turn professional, Johnson was not signed to a professional contract with the Blues, becoming the first player in 44 years to play college hockey after being selected No.1 overall. In his freshman campaign with the Golden Gophers during the 2006–07 season, Johnson quickly established a top defensive role and accumulated 4 goals and 24 points in 41 contests to lead all WCHA rookie defenseman and earn a selection to the WCHA All-Rookie Team. Johnson concluded his collegiate career after his freshman year when he was signed by the St. Louis Blues to a three-year, entry-level contract on April 20, 2007.
St. Louis Blues
Johnson scored his first career NHL goal against Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier on October 6, 2007. It was also the game-winning goal. He finished his rookie season averaging over 18 minutes of ice-time per game to go with 5 goals and 28 assists in 69 games.
On September 16, 2008, during a team golf outing, Johnson tore two ligaments in his right knee after getting his foot stuck between the accelerator and brake pedals of a golf cart. Johnson was forced to have surgery to repair the torn ligaments, and missed the entire 2008-09 season as a result. After returning for the 2009-10 season, Johnson set new career-highs with 10 goals, 29 assists, and 39 points, as well as 79 penalty minutes. He also represented Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics where he earned a silver medal,
On August 2, 2010, as a restricted free agent, Johnson re-signed with the Blues with a two-year, $5.2 million contract.
During the 2010–11 season, on February 19, 2011, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, along with Jay McClement and a conditional first-round pick (that Colorado used to select Duncan Siemens), in exchange for Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk and a conditional second-round pick, which St. Louis used to select Ty Rattie. Later that day, Johnson made his Avalanche debut at the HP Pavilion at San Jose in a 4–0 defeat to the San Jose Sharks. In his second game, Johnson faced his former team and posted his first goal as a member of the Avalanche in a 4–3 victory over the Blues on February 22, 2011.
On July 3, 2012, Johnson signed a four-year, $15 million extension with the Avalanche. He was selected to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game on January 10, 2015. At the time of his selection, he was leading all defensemen in goal-scoring.
On September 22, 2015, Johnson signed a seven-year, $42 million extension with the Avalanche, making him the highest paid player on the Avalanche roster and one of the highest paid defensemen in the NHL.
During the 2017–18 NHL season Johnson played in his 600th NHL game on December 3, 2017, in a 7–2 loss to the Dallas Stars. At the time, Johnson led the team, and was the fifth highest in the league, in average ice time at 26:24 minutes. Johnson was suspended for two games on December 17, 2017, for boarding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov.
|Representing United States|
|World Junior Championships|
|World U18 Championships|
|2005 České Budějovice|
As a product of the US NTDP, Johnson first made his international debut for the United States at the 2005 World U17 Hockey Challenge. In the same year, he captured a gold medal as a 17-year-old at the 2005 World Under-18 Championships. Johnson scored ten points in six games the 2006 World Under-18 championships to help the U.S. retain the gold medal, and was selected as the Bob Johnson Award winner as the Best American player in international competition.
Johnson was a member of the U.S. junior team that won a bronze medal in the 2007 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He was named to the tournament's All-Star Team and was named the tournament's Best Defenseman. Johnson finished the tournament with four goals and six assists for ten points, becoming the first defenseman to lead the tournament in scoring.
Regular season and playoffs
|2003–04||Academy of Holy Angels||MNHS||31||13||21||34||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||U.S. National Development Team||USDP||54||11||15||26||27||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||U.S. National Development Team||USDP||47||16||33||49||89||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||University of Minnesota||WCHA||41||4||20||24||50||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||St. Louis Blues||NHL||69||5||28||33||30||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||St. Louis Blues||NHL||79||10||29||39||79||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||St. Louis Blues||NHL||55||5||14||19||37||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and achievements
|All-WCHA Rookie Team||2007|
|NHL YoungStars Game||2008|
|NHL All-Star Game||2015|||
|WJC Best Defenseman Directorate Award||2007|
|WJC All-Star Team||2007|
In addition to his accomplished career as an NHL defenseman, Erik Johnson is a proprietor and commercial racehorse breeder for ERJ Racing, LLC. He refers to his hobby as "my outlet away from hockey and my passion."
- "Blues top pick Erik Johnson to attend Minnesota this Fall". Minnesota Golden Gophers. 2006-07-24. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "Erik Johnson: The Invisible No.1". CBS Sports. 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "Blues take defenseman Erik Johnson with No.1 draft pick". USAToday. 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "Blues Sign First Overall Draft Pick Erik Johnson". St. Louis Blues. 2007-04-20. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- "Blues 5, Kings 3". CBS Sports. 2007-10-06. Archived from the original on 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
- McGran, Kevin (September 24, 2008). "Golf cart mishap derails Erik Johnson's season". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
- "Blues' Johnson has season-ending surgery". cbc.ca. November 19, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
- "Johnson re-signs with Blues for 2 years, $5.2 million". Stltoday.com. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "Blues send former No.1 pick Johnson to Avalanche". The Sports Network. 2011-02-19. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- "Setoguchi tallies hat trick as Sharks blank reeling Avs". National Hockey League. 2011-02-19. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "Johnson scores on former team as Avs knock off Blues". The Sports Network. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- "Johnson Selected To 2015 NHL All-Star Game". Colorado Avalanche. 2015-01-10. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
- Frei, Terry (September 22, 2015). "Erik Johnson signs seven-year contract extension with Avalanche". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Parmele, Callie (December 4, 2017). "Avs Can't Deliver Against Stars". NHL.com. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- "Erik Johnson suspended two games for boarding Namestnikov". sportsnet.ca. December 17, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- "United States 2006 WJC Media Guide" (PDF). USA Hockey. 2006-02-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- "Canada eanrs 2007 World U20 Title". iihf.com. July 1, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Rutherford, Jeremy (March 9, 2010). "David Backes and Erik Johnson show off their Olympic silver medals". St. Louis Today. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Nguyen, Joe (May 27, 2016). "Matt Duchene, Erik Johnson, Carl Soderberg added to World Cup rosters". The Denver Post. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Prewitt, Alex. "Meet Erik Johnson, race horse owner and breeder". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
- "Colorado Avalanche: Erik Johnson's Horse in Grade 1 Race at Belmont". Mile High Sticking. 2019-06-09. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Erik Johnson.|
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
| NHL first overall draft pick
T. J. Oshie
| St. Louis Blues first round draft pick
| World Junior Best Defenceman