Johnson signs seven-year contract extension
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Jack Johnson to a seven-year contract extension that will carry into the 2017-18 season, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced tonight.
The seven-year contract matches the second longest in club history. Kings center Anze Kopitar also signed a seven-year contract extension on Oct. 11, 2008, and former Kings Great/Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky signed an eight-year contract in 1988 (after the first year that contract was extended from seven years to nine years).
Additionally, Kings forward Dustin Brown agreed to a six-year contract extension on Oct. 26, 2007; Kings defenseman/Assistant Captain Matt Greene agreed to a five-year contract extension on Oct. 17, 2008; Kings center Jarret Stoll agreed to a four-year contract extension on Sept. 4, 2008; Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi signed a four-year free agent contract with the Kings on July 2, 2009; Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick signed a three-year contract extension on Oct. 23, 2009; and Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier signed a two-year contract extension on Oct. 4, 2010.
Entering play tonight, Johnson, 23, leads all Kings defensemen with four goals, 24 assists and 28 points (4-24=28) this season. The 28 points for the 6-1, 219-pound native of Indianapolis, are tied for ninth among NHL defensemen, while his 24 assists are tied for 10th among NHL blue-liners.
Johnson's power play numbers this season also rank amongst the league leaders (19 power play points are tied for second among defensemen and tied for seventh overall; 16 power play assists are third among defensemen and fourth overall). Johnson averages 24:33 ice time per game, second on the Kings and tied for 15th in the NHL.
Johnson set career highs in goals (8), assists (28), points (36) and games played (80) during the 2009-10 season. He was also second on the Kings with 22:36 ice time per game and he tied for first among NHL defensemen with six shootout goals (tied for ninth overall).
Johnson was first among NHL defensemen with 17 shootout attempts (tied for second overall) and his 17 shootout attempts are a Kings single-season record. He played 20-plus minutes in 66 of his 80 games (25-plus minutes 13 times) and he had eight multi-point games (Kings were 8-0-0 in those games).
Johnson played in his 200th NHL game on April 11, 2010, at Colorado and he had a career high four points and three assists on Feb. 4, 2010 vs. Anaheim. He also made his Stanley Cup playoff debut with the Kings in 2010 and tied for the club lead with seven points (all assists).
His seven assists set a Kings playoff record for a defenseman in one series. He also tied for second on the club with 10 blocked shots during the playoffs and his three assists in Game 3 vs. Vancouver tied a club playoff record for a defenseman.
In 2008-09, Johnson matched a previous career-high with 11 points (6-5=11), recorded 46 penalty minutes and tied for first among Kings defensemen with six goals and three power-play goals even though he only appeared in 41 regular season games.
The defenseman sustained a shoulder injury and was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 13, 2008. He was activated from injured reserve after missing 41 games on Jan. 17, 2009. Johnson also tied for first among NHL defensemen with three shootout goals (3-for-6 = 50 percent) and his three shootout goals tied for first on the Kings.
Additionally, the blue-liner appeared in his 100th Kings/NHL game at Chicago on March 9, 2009, and he notched his first career multi-point game (1-1=2) vs. Atlanta on Feb. 16, 2009. Johnson also scored the game-deciding shootout goal at the New York Islanders on Feb. 10, 2009, while averaging 20:16 of ice time per game (fifth on the team).
Johnson was selected as the Kings' Best Newcomer (Mark Bavis Memorial Award) and Outstanding Defenseman at the close of the 2007-08 season after recording 11 points (3-8=11) and 76 penalty minutes in 74 regular season games.
That season, he also logged at least 23 minutes of ice time 25 times and in 15 of his last 20 contests. He finished third among NHL rookies (and third on the Kings) while averaging 21:41 of ice time per game and finished second among rookies (and second on the Kings) with 136 blocked shots.
Johnson, who was selected to participate at the YoungStars skills event as part of the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend in Atlanta (Jan. 26, 2008), scored his first Kings/NHL goal at Vancouver on Oct. 19, 2007, and earned his first NHL point with an assist at Dallas on Oct. 10, 2007.
Johnson made his Kings/NHL debut vs. Vancouver on March 29, 2007, and he averaged 21:22 of ice time in five regular season games at the close of the 2006-07 season after signing with the Kings on March 27, 2007.
Johnson signed with the Kings after completing his sophomore season at the University of Michigan (2006-07) where he was named the CCHA's Best Offensive Defenseman and selected to the All-CCHA First Team (he received 10 first-place votes, the most of any player on the ballot) at the end of the college season after totaling 39 points (16-23=39) and 87 penalty minutes in 36 games.
His 16 goals represented the second highest single-season goal total ever amassed by a U-M defenseman (most by a sophomore defenseman), while his plus-26 rating ranked second on the Wolverines and his 87 penalty minutes were a team high. In 2005-06, Johnson was a finalist for the CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman Award and a member of the CCHA All-Rookie Team. That same season, he also set the U-M freshman record for most points for a defenseman with 32 (10-22=32).
Internationally, Johnson served as a Team Captain for Team USA at the 2010 World Championships (6 GP, 0-3=3). He also earned silver medal for Team USA at 2010 Winter Olympics (6 GP, 0-1=1) and he was one of three Kings on the roster (Brown and Quick were the others). Johnson has also worn the Red, White and Blue at the 2009 World Championships (9 GP, 5-2=7) where his five goals led all defensemen in the tournament (tied for fifth overall) and his seven points tied for fourth most among defensemen in the tournament.
Johnson, acquired by the Kings along with defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky for center Eric Belanger and defenseman Tim Gleason on Sept. 29, 2006, has 86 points (21-65=86) and 222 penalty minutes in 240 career NHL regular season games, all with the Kings.
Johnson was originally selected by Carolina in the first-round (3rd overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
The Kings (23-17-1) continue their season-long eight-game homestand on Monday at STAPLES Center when they host Toronto at 7:30 p.m. (PT). The game will be broadcast on FS West, KTLK AM 1150 and along the Kings Radio Network. After that, the Kings host St. Louis on Thursday, Jan. 13 (7:30 p.m.) before concluding the homestand by hosting Edmonton on Saturday, Jan. 15 (7 p.m.).
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