2010-11: Steven Johnson played for the Minnetonka High School in Minnesota. He had 8 assists in his junior season and was +11 in 27 games. The Skippers lost to Eden Prairie, 4-0, in the Section 6AA semifinals.
2011-12: Johnson skated for Minnetonka in his senior season as the Skippers reached the Section 6AA championship game against eventual state champion Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Johnson scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was +16 in 28 games. The Skippers fell to Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 5-1, in the sectional final.
2012-13: Johnson joined Aberdeen of the North American Hockey League; skating in 59 games in his first season of junior hockey. He scored 6 goals with 17 assists and was -8 with 32 penalty minutes. The Wings missed the playoffs after finishing fifth in the Central Division.
2013-14: Johnson moved from the NAHL to the USHL — skating for the Omaha Lancers — and in October committed to playing college hockey at the University of Minnesota in 2014-15. In 56 games he scored 5 goals with 26 assists and was +23 with 6 penalty minutes. Omaha finished second in the Western Conference before falling to Sioux City in four games in a best-of-five playoff series. Johnson had 2 assists and was +1 in the series. In his third year of draft eligibility, Johnson was selected by Los Angeles in the fourth round (120th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
2014-15: Johnson skated in 11 games for the University of Minnesota in his freshman season. With several upperclassmen on defense for the Golden Gophers he and fellow freshman Jack Glover (Winnipeg) saw limited ice time. Johnson had 1 assist and 4 penalty minutes with an even plus/minus. Minnesota finished first in the Big 10 and captured the league’s only NCAA tournament berth, defeating Michigan, 4-2, in the conference championship game. Minnesota fell to in-state rival Minnesota-Duluth, 4-1, in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals.
2015-16: Johnson stepped into a full-time role for the University of Minnesota in his sophomore season. Playing primarily with freshman and fellow Minnesota native Jack Sadek (MIN) on the third pair for the Gophers down the stretch, he scored 3 goals with 7 assists and was -3 with 6 penalty minutes in 31 regular season games. The Golden Gophers finished first in the Big Ten Conference, one point ahead of Michigan.
Johnson plays a very steady all-around style; coupling that with smooth skating and quick thinking. He has room for improvement in almost every facet of his game and is somewhat raw at this point. He should add bulk and strength while becoming more sound in the tactical and technical aspects of his game during his four-year college career.
Johnson is seeing more ice time in a third-pair role for the University of Minnesota in 2015-16 after appearing in just 11 games as a freshman. The sophomore is still trailing some of the other prospects in the Kings' pipeline but will have two more seasons to hone his game with the Gophers. A skating defenseman with some offensive flair, he must add strength and continue to refine his positional play to one day have a shot at playing pro hockey.