December 17, 2018
Sixteen year old Trail Smoke Eaters rookie forward Kent Johnson will be following in his head coach’s footsteps when he makes the jump to the collegiate level in 2020-21, as he has committed to play for the University of Michigan Wolverines.
After getting in a pair of games last season as a 15-year-old, the Port Moody, B.C. native has excelled in his first full season in the league, contributing 11G-13A, 24 points in 37 games.
His head coach Jeff Tambellini, who also grew up in Port Moody, knows the program well as he played three years at Michigan before making the jump to pro and eventually returning as an assistant coach last season.
“I am so excited for Kent and the Johnson family to be a part of the University of Michigan family,” said Tambellini in a release from the Smoke Eaters.
”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, whose brother Kyle is a Prince George Spruce Kings alum playing at Yale University, will join a Michigan team who is an NCAA Division I program playing in the Big 10 conference along with Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The Wolverines are currently tied for fourth in their conference and have an overall record of 6-7-4.
Michigan’s 2018-19 roster features former Wenatchee Wild forward Dakota Raabe and former Vernon Vipers forward Jimmy Lambert.
Nick Granowicz of the Merritt Centennials and Cassidy Bowes, Kenny Johnson and Jack LaFontaine of the Penticton Vees are all committed to the Wolverines for next season.
Johnson starred as a first year player on the Burnaby Winter Club Midget Prep team last season, after playing at Bantam A1 at the North Shore Winter Club the year before.
Last year Johnson was tied for second overall in Canadian Sports School Hockey League, Midget Prep division scoring, putting up 29G-45A, 75 points, in 35 games.