The Habs saw something they liked in defenceman Ryan Johnston at their recent development camp as on Monday afternoon, they signed him to a two year, entry-level contract. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Johnston, a 5’10, 177 lb rearguard, spent the last three seasons with the Colgate Raiders of the NCAA and was originally thought to be returning for his senior season in 2015-16. Last year, he suited up in 38 games, collecting a goal and fourteen assists with 26 PIMS and a +12 rating. Overall, he suited up in 110 contests, picking up five goals and 37 helpers.
Up until his college career, Johnston was quite a point producer at the lower levels. In his final season of junior hockey, he collected 71 points in 56 games with Nepean of the CCHL (players that are college bound cannot play in the CHL).
The Sudbury, ON native joins a multitude of right shot defencemen in Montreal’s organization. He’ll battle for a roster spot on their AHL affiliate in St. John’s along with Darren Dietz, Brett Lernout, Morgan Ellis, Dalton Thrower, and AHL signee Josiah Didier. At first glance, he may be headed for Brampton of the ECHL.
Johnston comes from a hockey family. His uncle Mike is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins while his sister Rebecca has won a pair of Olympic Goal Medals for Team Canada.
The contract now gives the Canadiens 44 of their allowed 50 signed deals. That number should reduce by one as Noah Juulsen isn’t expected to play in the NHL but it also does not include current RFA’s Jarred Tinordi, Michael Bournival, and Alex Galchenyuk. Here is a look at their updated list.