Plain and Simple, Kent Johnson Needs to Play More

By Coby Maeir on November 2, 2022 at 1:45 pm
Kent Johnson
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports


That's where Kent Johnson ranks among Blue Jackets forwards in ice time this season. He's played 12:58 a night, 11:26 of which is at even strength (9th among CBJ forwards) and the other 1:32 (8th) is on the power play. So far this season he's played an average of 17 shifts per game (13th) at an average length of 0:46 (T-5th). Even still, he's the team's second-leading scorer with three goals and three assists in nine games. 

At five-on-five, his goals-for percentage (GF%, the percentage of goals while the player is on the ice that their team scores) is 57.14%, the best among CBJ forwards with at least 100 minutes at five-on-five, per He also has three five-on-five goals, which is just one less than team leader Johnny Gaudreau, who has played 62:30 more at five-on-five than Johnson has.

The stats indicate Johnson has been one of the team's best forwards so far this season, so he should be playing more. 

How will playing less than 13 minutes a night affect his development? He was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, the high-end talent is there, and now he's got the production to back it up. Johnson is a player that can drive the offense for the Jackets and after a 3-7-0 start, it's time to make him one of the most-played forwards on the team. 

I am not going to tell Brad Larsen how to do his job because I'm nowhere near qualified to tell a coach how to coach but if Johnson is the team's second-leading scorer shouldn't he be playing more?

We'll see if anything changes this weekend in Tampere, Finland, against the defending-champion Colorado Avalanche.

View 2 Comments