Johnson likely stands as a seventh defenseman and/or a waiver candidate later in the year, especially on a team as deep as Colorado. But as the team deals with an injury to Devon Toews early on in the season, Johnson is a candidate to slot into the team’s opening night lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.
A veteran of 15 NHL seasons and 950 games, Johnson does bring some veteran experience to a blueline that’s headed by a set of younger names in Cale Makar, Samuel Girard, and Bowen Byram. It’ll be Johnson’s first time playing for a Western Conference team since he was traded away from the Los Angeles Kings midway through the 2011-12 season.
After averaging over 20 minutes a night for the 11 seasons of his career, Johnson’s seen his ice time dwindle progressively down to that of a third-pairing or seventh defenseman in recent years. Johnson appeared in only 13 games with the New York Rangers last season, scoring one goal.
Over his entire NHL career, Johnson’s lit the lamp 71 times and scored 303 points.