The Colorado Avalanche announced today that they have re-signed defenseman Erik Johnson. Johnson has been signed to a four year deal, worth $15 million, giving the Avalanche a cap hit of $3.75 million per year.
It became clear after the trade of Stewart and Shattenkirk for Johnson and McClement that Johnson was expected to lead the defensive core for many years to come, both as an offensive juggernaut and a shutdown defenseman. Last season was a bit rough in the beginning, but the final 35-40 games showed what kind of a player Johnson can really become. He was a +9 after a disturbing -16 start, and his icetime continued to increase.
I am expecting him to continue improving upon his consistency, and to hopefully be able to increase his point-production. He still has a lot of untapped potential, and I look forward to seeing him push himself towards constant improvement. If Johnson reaches his full potential, he could be a 40-50 point defenseman, with a ludicrous plus/minus rating too.
As always, the mention of Johnson’s name will evoke discussion of “the trade”. Here is a look at what we have thus far.
Erik Johnson had a very good second half, but a rough first half. He will be with the team for the next four years.
Jay McClement’s time with the Avalanche has finished, as he has now signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his time here, he had 11 goals and helped the penalty kill tremendously.
Duncan Siemens has yet to play in the NHL, but he was named the captain of his junior team in the past season.
For St. Louis:
Chris Stewart, once the main component of the trade for St.Louis, has seemingly fallen out of favor. If he doesn’t prove himself next year, I don’t expect his stay in St. Louis to extend past this upcoming season.
Kevin Shattenkirk has become a top four defenseman, with stellar personal statistics.
Ty Rattie is a strong prospect, though he has yet to make an NHL appearance.