Former NHL forward Adam Johnson has tragically passed away after suffering a major medical emergency during a game last night with the EIHL’s Nottingham Panthers. Nottingham confirmed his passing this morning after Johnson suffered a cut during a game against the Sheffield Steelers last night. The 29-year-old was attended to by medical personnel as fans were asked to leave the arena after the incident had occurred. A statement from Johnson’s former NHL team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, can be found here.
The unfortunate sequence of events started with a collision at center ice that caused Johnson to suffer an injury to his throat. The players from both teams formed a circle around him before screens were brought onto the ice as paramedics attended to him. This morning the Panthers released an official statement saying:
The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night. The club will dearly miss him and will never forget him. Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player but also a great team-mate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him.
The full statement is available here.
Johnson was born in Minnesota and was in his first season in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) after joining the Panthers this offseason. He began playing as a professional in 2017 after spending two years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he won an NCHC championship in 2017. He spent the first three years of his pro career with the Penguins organization and did dress in some NHL games with the club, posting a goal and three assists in 13 games spread over two NHL seasons. In his AHL career, Johnson dressed in 257 career AHL games with the Ontario Reign, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He registered 50 career AHL goals and 87 assists.
Former NHLer Matt Cullen told Rob Rossi of The Athletic that Johnson was “An unreal kid, just a great guy. A salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. So humble and a very easy person to be around. He’s one of those guys who just loves the game and being around the rink with the guys.”
PHR joins the entire hockey world in mourning the passing of Adam Johnson. Our condolences to the Johnson family and all of his teammates, friends, and peers.