Friday, December 13, 2013

Former Wimterhawk of the Week: Ryan Johansen

Could it really have been anyone else? The Mighty Johan has taken the NHL by storm this season, his 3rd professionally, leading the Columbus Blue Jackets with 25 points (11 Goals, 14 Assists) in 32 games. Combine that with his developing ability to play in his own zone and you have a guy that is looking to be one of the top Centers in the league for years to come.

It did not come easy for Ryan, as this piece by The Hockey Writers, points out, he was benched during a post-season run in the AHL only last season. He obviously put hard work in during this past off season as his point total and hard earned minutes can attest. He was also placed in the right situation this season, after several top liners for the Blue Jackets went out with injuries (one of them was former Hawk Brandon Dubinsky, a fellow Center). Now he has firmly cemented himself as a guy who can score and is not a liability at all on the defensive side.

This past week (12/6-12/12) he netted 1 Goal and 4 Assists for 5 Points in 4 games, leading Columbus to a 3-1 record, putting them only 2 points out of the last playoff spot.

First, he netted 2 assists in a 4-0 win over Minnesota last Friday, then he assisted on CBJ's only Goal in a 2-1 tight checking affair on Monday. He then closed out the week with an assist in a 5-4 win over New Jersey 5-4 and then scored a a goal last night in a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers. With points in the last 4 games, Johansen extended his point streak to 7 games currently. With his size and the fact that his point explosion has not relied upon power play goals, there does not seem to be any reason why Johansen cannot keep this going.

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