Kent Johnson's Play Has Earned Him More Ice Time

By Coby Maeir on January 31, 2023 at 10:15 am
Kent Johnson celebrates after scoring the overtime game-winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

An increase in ice time for the rookie.

After playing less than 12 minutes in each of the four games between Jan.14-Jan.19, Kent Johnson has played no less than 14:59 in the Blue Jackets' last five games. 

"You start to earn more ice time," head coach Brad Larsen said when I asked him if he's putting more trust in Johnson. "And you start to earn some of that trust." 

Larsen said he likes that Johnson has confidence with the puck and complimented his dedication to hockey.

"He's another kid [that's] very passionate about the game," Larsen said. "He's always working on his game. He's always trying to add and learn and he's very coachable. So he's growing."

Johnson thinks that Larsen is putting more trust in him.

"Yeah," Johnson said. "I definitely think [he has trusted me] in the last few games so hopefully I can keep playing well and earning it."

Johnson said the increase in ice time has helped his game.

"Just getting to be on the ice more in the game," Johnson said. "Getting the feel [of the game] more, and feeling good with the puck. So it can definitely help."

Johnson has played 56 games in his NHL career, but if Larsen keeps trusting him with more ice time, that can only be a good sign that he is developing well. Regardless of his point total, which is fourth among rookies this season, the growth he has shown this season has to be promising for both the organization and its fans.