The Nashville Predators have agreed to an 8 year deal with restricted free agent Ryan Johansen. The contract puts Joey’s value at $8 million per year, which is a bargain.
Nashville, Tenn. (July 28, 2017) - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the Predators have signed center Ryan Johansen to an eight-year, $64 million contract that will pay him an average of $8 million annually through the 2024-25 season.
Johansen, 24 (7/31/92), co-led the Predators in scoring during the 2016-17 campaign with 61 points while appearing in all 82 games, recording 14 goals and 47 assists. His 47 assists during the most recent campaign set a career high. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound native of Vancouver, British Columbia then added three goals and 13 points in 14 games during Nashville's postseason run before being sidelined in the Western Conference Final due to injury.
Johansen also set a career high in the face-off circle in 2016-17, winning 54.55 percent of his draws during the regular season before taking 54.28 of his faceoffs in the playoffs.
Acquired by the Predators on Jan. 6, 2016 from Columbus, Johansen has appeared in 124 regular-season games with Nashville, tallying 22 goals, 73 assists and 95 points during that span. Johansen has also amassed seven goals, 14 assists and 21 points in 28 postseason contests with Nashville. Johansen has appeared in all 82 games in three of the last four seasons, has totaled 60 or more points in four consecutive seasons, and at least 45 assists in each of the last three campaigns.
Johansen appeared in the 2015 All-Star Game and set a career-high 71 points during the 2014-15 season. The fourth overall selection in the 2010 Entry Draft, Johansen earned a silver medal and a spot on the tournament all-star team at the 2011 World Junior Championship after posting nine points (3g-6a) in seven games, and was a 2011 WHL First Team All-Star after recording 92 points (40g-52a) in 63 regular-season WHL games, and a league-best 28 points (13g-15a) in 21 postseason contests in his second and final campaign with the Portland Winterhawks.
This is a great day for the Predators. Joey came to Nashville with high expectations, stepping into the presumed first line center role that the franchise has always needed. After an early learning curve, he’s delivered on that expectation.
Putting up 73 assists in his first 124 games with Nashville—2nd on the team in that category over the last two years—Johansen is undoubtedly the best playmaking center that the Preds have ever had. While he has only scored 22 goals in that time, he’s still scored .77 points per game, which is 15 points higher than his previous average with Columbus.
He also led the Predators further than they’d ever been in the playoffs (at the time) after this epic, tie-breaking goal in the 3rd period of Game 6 against the Blues.
Losing Johansen in the Western Conference Final against the Ducks was incredibly unfortunate and it showed the Predators exactly the impact he has on this team. Sadly, we will never know what the 2017 Stanley Cup Final would have looked like with a healthy Ryan Johansen, though we can probably imagine.
The great news is that we will have at least eight more years to see if Joey can help take the franchise even further.