This season: 74 games, 3 goals, 8 assists, minus-19 rating.
Positives: Came into the NHL with tremendous hype that was almost impossible to live up to, but still managed a solid rookie season, particularly for a player who had never taken a shift above the college level unti late last season. Johnson clearly has the size, skating ability and physical instincts to be an impact defenseman, and he showed that at times this season.
Negatives: Again, expectations were high. Johnson was hyped as a Calder Trophy favorite heading into the season and never really came close to reaching that level. He admitted, late in the season, that not until the final month (before his broken foot) did he start to feel totally comfortable on the ice. The offensive instincts he showed at Michigan still need to emerge at the NHL level.
Looking ahead: There’s certainly no hand-wringing among Kings management about Johnson. He’s still considered a future franchise defenseman and he’s starting to develop the type of leadership skills that could make him a team captain one day. With expected development, he should take a major step forward next season.
Contract situation: Signed through 2008-09 (cap number of $2.15 million next season).