The Wenatchee Wild has announced that defenseman Eric Johnson has committed to continue his education and hockey career at the University of Notre Dame (CCHA) in the fall of 2011.
Johnson, from Madison, Wis., will join his brother, Mike, at Notre Dame. Mike Johnson, who played one season of NAHL hockey, is a sophomore goaltender for the Irish. He has a 4-0-1 record with a 1.97 goals-against average and save percentage of .934 with Notre Dame this season.
“This was kind of my dream,” said the younger Eric. “Ever since (Mike) committed there it was a dream to play with my brother. I love the school, and they have a great reputation.”
Eric’s reputation as a shutdown defenseman is also great.
“Eric is looked at as a defensive stopper who can move the puck well,” said Wild third-year head coach Paul Baxter. “He is an excellent penalty-killer who can shut down the other team’s best players.”
He is also a natural leader, which earned him the “C” on his jersey as the Wild’s captain this season.
“He's compassionate and dependable for his teammates,” Baxter said. “He leads by example and knows the right things to do and say.”
Johnson, 19, is a two-year player with the Wild. He recorded two goals and five assists (seven points) in 29 regular-season games in 2009-10. He was also plus-7. During last season’s playoffs, Johnson scored two goals and was plus-3 in eight games.
This season, Johnson has recorded one assist and is plus-2 in 10 games. He was also selected to the NAHL’s Top Prospects Tournament on Wednesday, along with six of his teammates.
In addition to his brother, Eric will also join former Wild forward Mike Voran at Notre Dame. Voran notched 24 goals and 32 assists (56 points) for the Wild during its inaugural season in the NAHL in 2008-09. Voran, a freshman, has one goal and one assist in six games with the Irish. He is also plus-4.