Former BCHL MVP, Trail Smoke Eaters alumnus and University of Michigan forward Kent Johnson was drafted fifth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft on Friday night.
Johnson becomes the second-highest BCHL player taken at the draft since 2007 when Kyle Turris was taken third overall by the Phoenix Coyotes.
In his freshman season at Michigan last year, the 18-year-old from Port Moody, B.C. played at a point-per-game pace scoring nine goals and adding 18 assists for 27 points in 26 contests, good enough for second in team scoring. Upon the conclusion of the season, he was named to the Big Ten’s All-Rookie Team.
Prior to his first college season, Johnson played two years in Trail from 2018 to 2020. In his second year in the league, he led the BCHL in scoring with 101 points in 52 games and his 41 goals and 60 assists were also tops in the league. He was awarded the Vern Dye Memorial trophy as the BCHL’s Most Valuable Player at the end of the year. He amassed 147 points in 112 regular-season games over his BCHL career.
Johnson is the third former BCHL player taken by the Blue Jackets in the first round of the draft, joining former Quesnel Millionaire Gilbert Brule in 2005 and former Penticton Vee Ryan Johansen in 2010.
Johnson will likely return to the University of Michigan for his sophomore season in the fall.
The BCHL’s 2021 NHL Draft coverage is presented by Chevrolet.