|Born||March 21, 1988 |
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||236 lb (107 kg; 16 st 12 lb)|
St. Louis Blues
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||1st overall, 2006|
St. Louis Blues
Erik Johnson (born Erik Robert Johnson on March 21, 1988) is an American ice hockey defenseman who is currently playing and serving as an alternate captain for the Colorado Avalanche in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Junior[edit | edit source]
Erik 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. When he was 16 years old, he transferred to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to play for the National Team Development Program (NTDP).
In the 2004–05 season, Erik 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, he 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, Erik 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.
Erik 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, Erik also became the first Golden Gopher and Minnesotan to be taken first overall. Despite the willingness to turn professional, he was not signed to a professional contract with the Blues, becoming the first player in 44 years to play college hockey after being selected first overall.
During his freshman campaign with the Golden Gophers during the 2006–07 season, Erik 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.
He 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.
Professional[edit | edit source]
St. Louis Blues
On October 6, 2007, Erik scored his first career NHL goal against Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier. 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, Erik tore two ligaments in his right knee after getting his foot stuck between the accelerator and brake pedals of a golf cart. He 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, Erik 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, he re-signed with the Blues with a two-year, $5.2 million contract.
During the 2010–11 season, on February 19, 2011, Erik 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, he 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, he 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, Erik 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, he 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, Erik played in his 600th NHL game on December 3, 2017, in a 7–2 loss to the Dallas Stars. At the time, he led the team, and was the fifth highest in the league, in average ice time at 26:24 minutes.
Erik was suspended for two games on December 17, 2017, for boarding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
International[edit | edit source]
International Play[edit | edit source]
|Competitor for United States|
|World Junior Championships|
|World U18 Championships|
|Gold||2005 České Budějovice|
As a product of the US NTDP, Erik 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.
He 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.
Erik 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. He finished the tournament with four goals and six assists for ten points, becoming the first defenseman to lead the tournament in scoring.
Representing the senior U.S. team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Erik received a silver medal after losing in overtime to Canada in the final. He was chosen to participate in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey for Team USA.
Accolades[edit | edit source]
|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|