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Son-rise: Jr. Ducks' Johnson Commits to Minnesota

Hockey came full circle for the Johnson family this past week.

Longtime Anaheim Jr. Ducks defenseman Ryan Johnson committed to the University of Minnesota, the same school his father Craig played at in the early 1990s.

The Aug. 9 decision in favor of Minnesota came after careful consideration.

"I went on a couple of visits there and just fell in love with the school," Ryan Johnson said. "The campus is unbelievable, the hockey history is unbelievable. All of the schools that recruited me were great, and it was a tough choice.

"At the end of the day I went with my heart."

They say home is where the heart is, and the Johnson family's roots in the Land of 10,000 Lakes run deep. Craig Johnson grew up in St. Paul, Minn., and was a top-five finalist for the state's Mr. Hockey award in 1990 before scoring 135 points in three seasons at Minnesota. In between, the St. Louis Blues drafted him in the second round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He made the 1994 U.S. Olympic team and played 14 pro seasons, several with the Los Angeles Kings and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. His family settled in Orange County and he eventually became the Jr. Ducks' director of coaches.

"It was Ryan's decision to go where he wanted," Craig Johnson said. "All of the schools he looked at are great programs. He's happy. I'm happy. Our family is proud of him and what he's become."

Ryan Johnson is the 15th player with ties to the Jr. Ducks to commit to a Division I school in the past four years, and he was the third member of this past season's Jr. Ducks 16U AAA team to make a D-I commitment, following forwards Josh Groll (Michigan) and Jonathan Panisa (UMass-Amherst).

Hockey came full circle for the Johnson family this past week.

Longtime Anaheim Jr. Ducks defenseman Ryan Johnson committed to the University of Minnesota, the same school his father Craig played at in the early 1990s.

The Aug. 9 decision in favor of Minnesota came after careful consideration.

"I went on a couple of visits there and just fell in love with the school," Ryan Johnson said. "The campus is unbelievable, the hockey history is unbelievable. All of the schools that recruited me were great, and it was a tough choice.

"At the end of the day I went with my heart."

They say home is where the heart is, and the Johnson family's roots in the Land of 10,000 Lakes run deep. Craig Johnson grew up in St. Paul, Minn., and was a top-five finalist for the state's Mr. Hockey award in 1990 before scoring 135 points in three seasons at Minnesota. In between, the St. Louis Blues drafted him in the second round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He made the 1994 U.S. Olympic team and played 14 pro seasons, several with the Los Angeles Kings and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. His family settled in Orange County and he eventually became the Jr. Ducks' director of coaches.

"It was Ryan's decision to go where he wanted," Craig Johnson said. "All of the schools he looked at are great programs. He's happy. I'm happy. Our family is proud of him and what he's become."

Ryan Johnson is the 15th player with ties to the Jr. Ducks to commit to a Division I school in the past four years, and he was the third member of this past season's Jr. Ducks 16U AAA team to make a D-I commitment, following forwards Josh Groll (Michigan) and Jonathan Panisa (UMass-Amherst).

 

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