Chad Johnson’s hard work looks like it will finally pay off in a backup role for the Boston Bruins.
Johnson, forwards Bobby Robins, Nick Johnson, and defenceman Mike Moore, signed two-way deals with the Bruins yesterday.
At 27, Johnson is likely going to slot behind Tuukka Rask on the Bruins depth chart. With the loss of last season’s backup Anton Khudobin, the Bruins had a hole to fill in net and did so with the 2006 fifth-round pick Johnson.
At 6’2″ and 174 lbs., Johnson isn’t the biggest goalie, especially by todays standards, but scouting reports praise his movement and speed in goal. Last season, Johnson appeared in four games for the defensive-minded Phoenix Coyotes, and posted a 1.21 GAA and .954 SV%. At the AHL level, Johnson has played over 150 games, and posted a career best 2.49 GAA and .919 SV% as a member of the Connecticut Whale in 2011-12.
In Robins and Johnson, the Bruins get two players who couldn’t be more different.
Johnson, 27, is a two-way forward who will contribute a bit up front, likely in the 35-50 point range. In 2010-11, as a member of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Johnson tallied 20 goals and 19 assists in 40 games. If he hadn’t missed time due to injury that season, Johnson easily would have eclipsed his previous career high of 43 points, a total which he put up over 61 games in 2009-10.
A Penguins draft pick in 2004, Johnson can play at the NHL level, but he’s best utilized in the AHL. He could fill some holes in Boston if need be, but his primary use will be in the middle of the lineup for the P-Bruins.
What separates Johnson from Robins is Robins proclivity to drop the gloves. At 6’1″ and 220 lbs., Robins doesn’t shy away from dropping the gloves, and he knows it’s his role. The 31-year-old has bounced around the minors, and, until last season, hadn’t had a full time shot in the AHL since playing 80 games with the Binghamton Senators in 2006-07.
In 74 games last season, Robins had 11 points (4-7) to go along with a staggering 316 PIM. Robins also dressed for 12 playoff games last year with Providence, racking up one goal, one assist, and 69 PIM in 12 games.
Moore, the only defenceman of the bunch, isn’t the most offensively minded, but he’ll contribute while giving the team a rock on the back end. Above all else, however, is Moore’s leadership ability. In 5 seasons in the AHL — four with the Worcester Sharks, one with the Milwaukee Admirals — Moore has been given the alternate captaincy once, and captained both the Sharks (2010-11) and Admirals (2012-13).
In 304 career games in the ‘A’, Moore has 88 points (19-69) to go along with 407 PIM.