Like Another Blue Jacket Went Through, Kent Johnson Has Struggled Through Year Two

By Will Chase on February 28, 2024 at 10:15 am
Columbus Blue Jackets' Kent Johnson skates with the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at SAP Center at San Jose.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of the young players are flourishing for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.

That's a win for the club.

Then there's one player who has shown what he's capable of but also finds himself in what some might consider a sophomore slump.

Kent Johnson has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) through 41 games this season. He has as many points this season as he had goals last year en route to a 40-point campaign. Johnson also had 24 helpers in what was his rookie season.

As you'll recall, Johnson played in nine regular season games to end the 2021-22 campaign when he had three assists.

So far, Johnson's trajectory has seemingly followed Cole Sillinger's start to his career. Like Johnson, Sillinger showed the promise everyone anticipated when he put together a 31-point (16 goals, 15 assists) campaign through 79 games in his rookie season in 2021-22.

Sillinger struggled in year two with 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 64 games. He dealt with a concussion that originated in training camp and a broken finger later in the season. Sillinger ended up playing out the string in Cleveland as the Monsters were in the middle of a playoff chase.

The beginning of this season was a struggle for Johnson as he sat out opening night as a healthy scratch and found himself in Cleveland in early November, an assignment he openly embraced.

As predicted, Johnson didn't stay in Cleveland long as he scored 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 10 games. These were also the first career games for Johnson in the AHL as he came right out of the Frozen Four and the University of Michigan before making his NHL debut on Apr. 13, 2022.

Johnson is 22nd on the Blue Jackets in time on ice per game (13:31). He played a career-low 6:57 in the win at San Jose on Feb. 17. Johnson hasn't had a point in the last five games, with one assist on Feb. 13, a loss in Ottawa, and he has four points (one goal, three assists) since Jan. 1.

Following the 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 23, our Coby Maeir got the thoughts of head coach Pascal Vincent (2:09 below) on Johnson's game in the loss.

  GF/60 GA/60 xGA/60 SCA/60
Natural Stat Trick 2.82 2.42 2.6 27.8
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