After a couple days off from our player reviews, today we return with the Predators top line center, Ryan Johansen.
(Before you ask, no we didn’t forget about Calle Jarnkrok. His review will be coming soon.)
Ryan Johansen dressed to impress this season. He put up some solid numbers, including 15 goals and 39 assists. We saw Johansen’s ability to put the puck right on the tape of linemates Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. setting them up for spectacular plays all season.
Of course, we all want Johansen to shoot more. He has a sneaky wrist shot, especially since goaltenders have come to expect Johansen to pass instead of shoot. He certainly should continue to utilize that talent, but his passing is where is value is found.
I have no doubt that Johansen will continue to develop as a strong 1C. However, we don’t want him to turn into another Joe Thornton and only dish out assists. Johansen has a great shot and should use it more often. He has also worked hard to improve his conditioning. He seems to be able to keep up (mostly) with Arvidsson and he’s able to put the heat on opponents with his strength and leg speed.
Another important stat for a center is his face-off win percentage. Johansen won 55.4% of his face-offs this season, up from last year. He also sat for 78 penalty minutes this season, the most of his career. Johansen seemed to catch on to the newly-strict slashing penalty a little late.
However, Johansen can give the appearance of being lazy on ice. He sometimes looks way behind the play and fans often comment on his lack of hustle during shifts. His defensive play can sometimes be overlooked because of the occasional ill-timed penalty.
The ceiling for Ryan Johansen is relatively high. He signed a pretty sweet contract in the offseason last summer, and playing with talented linemates like Forsberg and Arvidsson will continue to showcase Johansen’s puck moving skills. 54 points on the season is not a record for Johansen, but he continues to show his ability to dish out assists and contribute timely goals. He’s 25 and is expected to perform at similar levels for several years to come.
Johansen looked fairly comfortable in the playoffs. He was one of the brighter spots on a lackluster playoff team. Here’s a pretty partial breakaway goal in the Colorado series:
Here’s another clip of Johansen’s gorgeous goals from the 2018 playoffs against Winnipeg:
In the much-anticipated Ryan Kesler-Ryan Johansen rivalry, here’s a short fight from March:
That was fun.
Here’s a not-so-good moment from Johansen on Vancouver’s Erik Gudbranson earlier this spring. He was given a 5-minute major and ejected from the game for this nasty spear. C’mon, Joey.
Final Grade: A-
Johansen’s first year wearing the “A” helped carry the Preds to their first ever Presidents’ Trophy. When he’s firing on all cylinders, so are the Predators.
Also, I have to mention Johansen’s adorable dogs, Doug and Dozer. Dozer was a new addition last fall, and the two puppers have become best friends. Their Instagram account is one of the better Insta accounts out there and their cute little faces are sure to brighten up your day.