Smoke Eaters forward commits to U of Michigan

Trail Smoke Eaters forward Kent Johnson commits to play for Michigan Wolverines in 2020

Trail Smoke Eaters forward Kent Johnson committed to the University of Michigan Wolverines for the 2020-21 season.

Johnson, 16, is in his first season with the Smoke Eaters as well as the BC Hockey League, scoring 11 goals and adding 13 assists for 24 points to go along with 22 penalty minutes this season in 37 games played. The six-foot-one, 167-pound forward started the season with a six-game point streak and is tied for the BCHL lead in scoring from an ’02-born player.

Related read: Johnson leads Smoke Eaters to win over Nanaimo Clippers

The Port Moody native came to Trail after a terrific season with the Burnaby Winter Club Midget Prep squad in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL), where he led his team in scoring with 29 goals and 46 assists for 75 points in just 35 games played. Johnson finished second in scoring in the Midget Prep division in the CSSHL during the 2017/18 season while also playing in two games with the Smoke Eaters as an affiliate player.

“I am proud to announce my commitment to play at the University of Michigan,” said Johnson. “The facilities, campus and schooling are some of the best in college hockey and I can’t wait to continue my hockey career as a Wolverine. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way.”

The University of Michigan Wolverines play out of the Big 10 Conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), winning the West Regional a season ago en route to a Frozen Four appearance. The Wolverines are coached by Mel Pearson, who is his second season as the Head Coach of the program, holding a record of 27-19-3 over his 49 games at the helm.

“I am so excited for Kent and the Johnson family to be a part of the University of Michigan family,” commented Smoke Eaters General Manager and Head Coach Jeff Tambellini. “I can speak first hand on what an amazing University and hockey program he is now going to be a part of. Kent is an outstanding young man who has showcased elite talent and character, especially for his age, this season. We are going to continue to help him develop as a player and as a person for the next year and a half and have him ready to be an impact freshman in the NCAA.”

Johnson and the Smoke Eaters return to the ice Wednesday when they host the Wenatchee Wild at the Cominco Arena.

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