The Columbus Blue Jackets announced the fifth overall pick in the 2021 Draft Kent Johnson has signed his entry-level contract. It’s a standard three-year contract for the rookie, who finished his second college season with Michigan on Thursday.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 8, 2022
Kent Johnson Signs With Columbus Blue Jackets
After a heartbreaking loss to the University of Denver in the Frozen Four semi-finals on Thursday, Johnson is ready for the pros. The 19-year-old had 37 points in 32 games played including eight goals for the Michigan Wolverines. He played the majority of the season in the top line with Matty Beniers (Seattle Kraken) and Brendan Brisson (Vegas Golden Knights).
The Canadian player had a big season outside of college. He got to represent Team Canada twice. First, in the cancelled World Juniors, where he had one point in two games. But the highlight for the season was his appearance in the Winter Olympics, alongside teammate Owen Power. In the five games he played as an Olympian, he had one goal and five points.
Johnson was a big part of the Michigan team for this season, being one of seven first-round picks on the team. He chose to return to university with Matty Beniers and Power after a disappointing end to last year’s season due to Covid.
Michigan Captain Nick Blankenburg Signs With Columbus
Besides signing Johnson, Columbus also added the Wolverines captain and five-year player Nickolas Blankenburg. The free agent signed a one-year contract entry-level contract for the remainder of the season. Blankenburg had a career-high in goals, assists, points and power play goals. He had 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 38 games. The 23-year-old was also a huge part of this Michigan team, providing not only a great defensive game but also maturity and leadership.
Adding both Johnson and Blankenburg is a big step for the Blue Jackets. They need more young and skillful players that are smart and fast. Both of them are. Johnson is long-awaited by the fans, who are excited to watch the young player do his magic wearing the blue. But Blankenburg is also a great catch by Columbus and he’ll do great at pro level.
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