NHL Draft Prospect Report: Erik Johnson
Birthdate: March 21, 1988
2005-06 Club: U.S. National U-18 (USA)
Nicknames are EJ and E … favorite team is the Minnesota Wild … favorite players are Colorado’s Rob Blake and Edmonton’s Chris Pronger … wears #6, but says that he changes numbers every year … says his parents have been the most influential on his career because “they are always encouraging me and supporting me no matter what” … patterns his style of play after Rob Blake because “he is two-way and smart” … outside of sports, Johnson admires his parents for how hard they work in their lives … most memorable hockey game played was USA vs. Canada at the 2006 World Junior Championships because of the “amazing atmosphere” … most memorable game watched was Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals between the Canucks and the Rangers because “I knew then that hockey was what I wanted to do” … favorites include: Seinfeld (TV show), Gladiator (Movie), Vince Vaughn (actor), Jennifer Anniston (actress), Rob Thomas and Rascal Flats (musicians).
Central Scouting Report:
Is a powerful skater with a long, smooth stride who has tremendous acceleration in open ice … is very strong on his feet and is an outstanding backward skater who has excellent agility for his size … an offensive minded defenseman who has very good peripheral vision – makes the transition from defense to offense quickly and likes the rush the puck which results in scoring chances … makes a solid crisp first pass accurately, is also very accurate when making the long pass and possesses a hard accurate shot from the point … is very dangerous on the power-play with the one timer … pinches well and is seldom caught out of position … a solid positional player in the defensive zone – is difficult to beat one-on-one … reads the play well … has a very quick stick with a long reach that he uses effectively … an excellent shot blocker whose timing is outstanding … exhibits very good hockey sense and understanding of the game … has great size, strength, physical presence and is a very competitive player who works hard every shift … uses his size and strength to his advantage in the corners and in front of the net … delivers solid body checks and finishes his check with authority … opponents are aware of his presence on the ice and he adapts well to game conditions, playing with an edge when necessary … a disciplined player who leads by example – he is respected by teammates and opponents … is very focused and coachable … member of U.S. World Junior team for 2005-06 and will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2006.