With camp set to begin in a couple weeks, SoundTigers.com would like to introduce you to a few of the new faces set to join the squad this season.
Sound Tigers fans will recognize Justin Johnson, formerly of the Manchester Monarchs, who will be clad in the blue-and-orange in 2013-14. Johnson was a fan favorite at Verizon Wireless Arena over the previous three seasons, but injury trouble forced him out of the Monarchs lineup for the better part of 2012-13. After playing a combined 91 games in 2010-11 and 2011-12, Johnson played in just 12 games for Manchester last season.
First, The Last Frontier: An Alaskan through-and-through, Johnson was born in Anchorage before staying home to play four years at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. He also played eight games for the ECHL’s Alaska Aces between 2005 and 2007 before returning for a full season in 2009-10.
Veteran Leadership: At 32, Johnson brings eight years of professional hockey experience to what could be a very young Sound Tigers roster in 2013-14.
Coast League Grad: Before joining the Monarchs in 2010-11. Johnson skated in the ECHL from 2005-2010. His best offensive season was in 2008-09, when he had 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) between the Utah Grizzlies and Cincinnati Cyclones.
Racking up the PIMs: Johnson also led the ECHL in penalty minutes that year, collecting 259 in 59 games.
Chuckin’ Knuckles: If the fight below from 2011 is any indication, both Johnson and Brett Gallant will be pleased to see each other in the same uniform this season.
Familiar Faces: Before becoming the Sound Tigers head coach last season, Scott Pellerin coached Johnson for two years as an assistant in Manchester. Johnson also played alongside current Sound Tigers assistant coach Eric Boguniecki with the Alaska Aces in 2009-10.
Fearless Fighter: Johnson’s first AHL fight came against the Sound Tigers in his second career game when he dropped the gloves with noted heavyweight Jeremy Yablonski.
Scoring in Bunches: Though Johnson has 11 career AHL points, three of them came in one game in 2010-11. He netted a goal and two assists against Springfield on 12/4/10, the first points of his AHL career.