Breaking news: Veteran defenseman Jack Johnson, the third pick overall in the 2005 NHL draft and with 950 games of NHL experience, has agreed to a Professional Tryout (PTO) contract with the Avalanche.
Johnson is 34 years old and played only 13 games with the New York Rangers last season. He has also played with Los Angeles, Columbus and Pittsburgh. While Johnson’s career hasn’t achieved the heights projected as a lottery draft pick, he has had two seasons of 40 points or more.
It would seem like a real longshot that he’d actually make the Avs, but we’ll see. You don’t play 950 career NHL games by being a total stiff. He’s 6-1, 227 pounds and doesn’t shy away from physical stuff. His inclusion to training camp will make for an interesting subplot.
The Avs would seem to have a pretty well-entrenched top six on defense, but as Joe Sakic has said, “you can never have enough D.”
Johnson had his contract bought out by the Penguins last year, and is still earning $916,677 for the next four years from the Pens from that. He signed a five-year, $16.25 million deal with Pittsburgh originally, but had the last three years bought out. He earned $1.15 million with the Rangers.