AVALANCHE

Avalanche trade to get back key Stanley Cup contributor from last year

Feb 26, 2023, 5:24 PM

Going into the last week ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline, many thought the Colorado Avalanche would cut a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, looking for a star like Patrick Kane.

Instead, Avs brass dialed up the 312 and picked up a familiar face.

Jack Johnson is coming back to Colorado, where he won a Stanley Cup last season. The 36-year-old defenseman signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks last summer after parading. This time Johnson will be tasked with both filing in for injured pieces and providing a steadying veteran force to a streaking Avs team.

The Avs sent Andreas Englund back to Chicago in the deal.

So far Johnson has skated in 58 games this season, recording four points. Johnson is nearly up to 1,100 NHL games played, which makes him 15th all-time among American-born defensemen.

Johnson worked his way onto the Avs last season, joining Colorado’s training camp as a tryout player, he would play in 74 regular-season games, notching nine points. Then in the playoffs, Johnson played in 13 games, mostly filling in after Sam Girard broke his collarbone.

Currently, Colorado is without Erik Johnson and Cale Makar. Erik is expected out perhaps until the playoffs while Makar is dealing with a concussion and is day-to-day but has only appeared in two games this month. Meanwhile, both Josh Manson and Bowen Byram are now healthy but missed significant time earlier this season.

Johnson, the third overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, has played for 17 seasons and has appeared in 43 playoff games. He’s the second move Colorado has made in a few days, trading for third-string goalie Keith Kinkaid as Pavel Francouz is out as well. Ahead of Friday’s deadline so far Colorado has focused on the back of the roster—depth—which makes sense considering the Avalanche have picked up 28 out of a possible 34 points over their last 17 games (13-2-2 record.)

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