Johnson has strong family ties in USHL, NCAA

By Tom Schreier

Luke Johnson - Lincoln Stars

Photo: Lincoln Stars forward and University of North Dakota recruit Luke Johnson was recently ranked 78th in Central Scouting's midterm rankings (courtesy of Brandon Anderson)

A University of North Dakota recruit who recently was named an A-List prospect by NHL Central Scouting, Luke Johnson is a 5’11”, 178-pound, two-way forward currently playing for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL.

An 18-year-old who will join the Fighting Sioux next season, Johnson is currently playing under his uncle Chad Johnson in Lincoln. The younger Johnson spent most of his childhood in the Star City before moving to Grand Forks where his father, Steve, also played his college hockey. Steve is currently an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Johnson is also a cousin of teammate Paul LaDue, a defenseman who was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings last year, and who was profiled by Hockey’s Future earlier this season.

Safe to say, Johnson has plenty of familial connections in both Nebraska and North Dakota.

Hockey’s Future recently met up with Johnson, who is eligible to be drafted this year, at the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Muskegon, MI.

Hockey’s Future: How are things going for you and your team?

Luke Johnson: Right now, our team is going in a little bit of a struggle, but for me personally it’s been kind of and up-and-down season. I started out slow, but as of late, the last month or so, I’ve been playing real well so that’s always good.

HF: What’s it like playing for your uncle, Chad, as a member of the Lincoln Stars?

LJ: Off the ice it’s good: We joke around and stuff. At the rink we put the family part aside and it’s straight business.

HF: What can you do to help the team out down the stretch?

LJ: Just be a good teammate and always work hard, stay positive, and if you do those things your team will have success and you will to.

HF: You have committed to the University of North Dakota. What was behind your decision to join the Fighting Sioux?

LJ: I have family up there and all that stuff, but it’s such a great hockey school and they put a lot of guys in the NHL so I like the fit and I’m excited.

HF: Do you feel extra pressure now that NHL Central Scouting has named you one of four A-List prospects in the USHL?

LJ: It’s always in the back of your mind and all that stuff, but at the end of the day you’re just here to play hockey and always work hard the good stuff will come.

HF: How would you describe your game? What are you looking to do out on the ice?

LJ: I would describe myself as a hard-working center. I pride myself in being hard to play against and that two-way centerman. I can chip in offensively and be a good defensive player, too.

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