Kent Johnson Makes Smoke Eater History at NHL Draft

kent johnson

Kent Johnson is now a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets organization.

The 18-year-old former sniper with the Trail Smoke Eaters was selected in the first round, fifth overall at the NHL draft.

The Port Moody B-C native had an outstanding freshman season at the University of Michigan with nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 26 games and had a +16 rating.

Johnson lit up the BCHL in 2020-21 with 41 goals and 60 assists for 101 point in just 52 regular season games and added a goal and six assists in the four game sweep of the Prince George Spruce Kings during Trail’s four-game first round playoff sweep before the post season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Johnson won the league scoring title and was named BCHL MVP and most sportsmanlike player while also capturing the CJHL’s top forward award in his second and final season in Trail.

TSN insiders Craig Button and Bob MacKenzie had predicted Johnson would be selected ninth overall by the Vancouver Canucks but the Blue Jackets had other ideas. 

Johnson is also the highest Smoke Eater NHL draftee in team history.

Trail native Steve McCarthy was selected 23rd overall by the Chicago Black Hawks in the 1999 NHL Draft.

Johnson will now head to Calgary next week for the Canadian National Junior Development Camp where he will be one of 30 forwards trying earn invites to the final selection camp in December.