The Columbus Blue Jackets in June used the fourth pick in the 2010 NHL Draft to select center Ryan Johansen, and they wasted little time in officially welcoming him into the Blue Jackets’ organization.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets have signed the big pivot to an entry-level contract covering three years. Per The Dispatch report, the terms of the contract called for a $900,000 base salary with incentives that could push the payout to a figure just shy of the $2 million mark.
Johansen starred for the WHL‘s Portland Winterhawks during the 2009-10 season. Prior to last season, Johansen was not a highly ranked draft prospect. But over the course of the season, he was the 2010 prospect to make the greatest strides as the season progressed, to the point where the 18-year-old was a top 5 selection at the NHL Draft. In his rookie season in the WHL, Johansen played in 71 games for the Winterhawks, scoring 25 goals and picking up 44 assists for 69 points on the season.
Johansen, a native of Port Moody, BC, is ranked by Hockey’s Future as the second best of the Blue Jackets prospects, behind Russian forward Nikita Filatov. He is valued for his size and skill, and should be a welcome addition to a lineup that lacks a power forward with some offensive skill at the center position.
Johansen will compete at the prospects tournament in Traverse City, MI this weekend, along with other Blue Jackets’ prospects chosen to play in that tournament. He’ll then take part in his first NHL traning camp beginning on Sept. 18.