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Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson
Center
(GREHG JAWN-sun)
Number: 23
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 200
Shoots: Left
Born: Mar 16, 1971
Birthplace: Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
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Acquired: Traded to Detroit by Philadelphia with Philadelphia's fifth-round pick (Frederic Deschenes) in the 1994 entry draft for Jim Cummins and Philadelphia's fourth-round choice in the 1993 entry draft on June 20, 1993.
Drafted: PHI / 1989 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 2nd (33rd overall)
Center Greg Johnson was a clever playmaker with good speed and overall hockey sense. He was a successful college and international player before coming to the NHL. Although small in stature and not overly physical, Johnson has survived by using quickness and creativity to keep opposing defenders at bay.

Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Johnson recorded 96 points in 47 games for the local Flyers of the USHL in 1988-89. Following that explosive season he was chosen 33rd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1989 NHL entry draft. Johnson went on to play four years at the University of North Dakota where he led the WCHA in assists twice and was placed on the conference First All-Star team three straight years from 1991 to 1993. He was also placed on the NCAA West First All-American Team in 1991 and 1993 and the Second Team in 1992. In June 1993 he was traded by the Flyers to the Detroit Red Wings.

Internationally he scored four goals to help Canada win the World Junior Championship in 1991 and later joined the national team program for a few weeks in 1993. He scored recorded three points and was a strong overall player for Canada at the 1993 World Championships.

He enjoyed a solid rookie season with the Red Wings in 1993-94 when he helped them finish first in the Central Division with 100 points. That year he was also loaned by Detroit to the Canadian National team for a month to participate in the Lillehammer Winter Olympics. He scored eight points in six exhibition games and played a solid defensive role at the tournament where Canada lost the gold medal game to Sweden in a shootout.

Johnson was a useful role player for Detroit over the next two seasons and recorded 40 points in 1995-96. Midway through the next year he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins and played well with his new club. Johnson was on the move again in October 1997 when he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. He scored 33 points in 69 games and appeared to fit in well but was claimed by the Nashville Predators at the NHL expansion draft.

Johnson thrived on the extra ice time he received in Nashville and posted a career-high 50 points while helping to keep the team competitive all year. The next two seasons his point total dropped. After a solid season in 2001-02, Johnson was plagued with injuries in 2002-03 and was limited to a mere 38 games.

Coming off an injury plagued season, Johnson rebounded in 2003-04 and was instrumental in helping the club clinch its first ever playoff berth. In the summer of 2006 Johnson would return to the Detroit Red Wings as the club signed him as a free agent.

Despite signing with the Detroit Red Wings, Johnson announced his retirement prior to the start of the 2006-07 season. Johnson leaves the game having played 785 games tallying 369 points with four NHL clubs.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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