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Final Grade: Erik Johnson

This report card is a joint effort by Beachie, Sandie, Paul, SlamDunktheFunk and DDC. Stats courtesy of and

2010 - Erik Johnson 77 8 21 29 -13 56 3 1 2 161


Final Grade


Final Grade: B+

Midseason Grade: N/A

Position: D (20gp RD, 2gp LD)

Vitals: 6'4" / 232 / Age 22 / Shoots Right

Drafted by St Louis, 1st overall in 2006

Joined Avalanche: Febrauary 19th, 2011 with Jay McClement and 2011 1st round pick from the Blues for Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk and 2011 2nd round pick

MHH Nicknames: Big Johnson


  • Wilson 13gp 3g 6a 9pt -2
  • Hunwick 5gp 0g 0a 0pt +2
  • Liles 2gp 0g 0a 0pt -1
  • O'Byrne 2gp 0g 1a 1pt -4

Avs with Johnson in the lineup: 4-17-1 (.204 pt %) 2.18 GF 3.81 GA

Ice Time (with Avs):

  • TTOI 24:33 (1st)
  • EV 19:06 (1st)
  • PK 2:20 (7th)
  • PP 3:06 (2nd)

Career Highlights: Johnson set a new high for ATOI (22:49)

Report: He's kind of a big deal. The Avalanche had been looking for a big defenseman with a big point shot since the departure of Rob Blake. A former 1st overall pick, Johnson possesses a heap of potential...and he just turned 23 years old. While he was protected a little in St Louis, he immediately became the go-to guy in all situations in Colorado and his minutes increased by about 2 minutes per game after the trade. That may have exposed him a little bit. He was credited with 23 giveaways in 55 games with St Louis, and 20 in his 22 games with Colorado. Sure, he's playing with a different caliber of defensive players here...but it's not like that situation is going to change any time soon. Other than the turnovers, Johnson looked solid before a late-season injury gave him a respite from the team's quagmire. Offensively, he's got a cannon for a shot and that 6'4" frame is as refreshing as it is foreign for Avalanche fans. Although he's a righty, he often switches to the left side on offense or defense when the situation dictates. And, although -5 is nothing to write home about, it is better than all but 3 D who played 10+ games (Gaunce, Holos and, believe it or not, Kyle Cumiskey). Considering he was playing against the best lines and playing when the team was playing its worst, that's very encouraging. It's a bit intriguing-bordering-on-worrisome that he ranked just 7th on the team in PK minutes (behind guys like Matt Hunwick and Cumiskey); it may be nothing, but it is something to keep an eye on. It's also interesting to me that he put up great offensive numbers when paired with defensive guys (Wilson and O'Byrne) but was a -6. Meanwhile, he had 0 points but was a +1 in 7 games with offensive-minded Liles and Hunwick. I think that speaks a lot to his versatility. Or small sample size.

Fun Fact: Johnson joins Owen Nolan (9 games) and Pierre Turgeon (79 games) as first overall picks to have played for the Avalanche

The Erik Johnson Drinking Game: Drink if you think #6 in the Avs font looks kind of like a penis Drunk potential: YMMV

2010 Cap Hit: $2,600,000

2011 Status: Signed through end of 2011-2012 season (RFA at expiry, 4 more seasons before UFA)

Outlook for Next Season: Johnson, of course, will go into next season as the cornerstone on defense (if not the franchise). There will be a lot of pressure on him. The team gave up some big assets to obtain him and he's not going to have the supporting cast that he had in St Louis. That's a lot of weight for those young, broad shoulders. How he responds is going to have a big impact on the Avalanche for the next few years.

Next Up: David van der Gulik