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Junior hockey vet Johnson looking for USPHL title, NCAA commitment with Jets

By Matt Mackinder, 11/19/20, 9:00AM EST

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FRASER, Mich. – Joey Johnson played a year of junior hockey in Canada last season, but with 2020 being mired in COVID-19 restrictions, the Midland, Mich., native looked at more options for the 2020-21 season and discovered the Metro Jets.

Since the season began, the 2000-born blueliner has been a minutes-eater for the Jets on the back end.

“Playing in Canada wasn’t looking promising this year,” Johnson said. “Fortunately, (Jets assistant coach) Randy Wilson contacted me about playing for the Jets. I came down for a few practices and liked what I had to see. I feel I can bring good puck movement and skating ability to the team.

“The opportunity for development and exposure to play college hockey are appealing. The Jets are one of the most successful teams in the USPHL. Always a contender every year and a well-run organization.”

Through 14 games this season, Johnson has cashed in for 10 points on two goals and eight assists.

More than points, Johnson is a valuable piece to the Jets team, according to Metro coach-GM Justin Quenneville.

“Joey has been a nice addition here on the back end,” said Quenneville. “He has junior experience, high hockey IQ and brings a strong skill set to the lineup here. We also can help him with some situational habits that will translate to the NCAA and, more importantly, get him in front of the schools at that level. He already has several NCAA programs contacting us about him, and that likely won’t stop as the season moves on.”

Johnson has been elated with how the season has gone from a personal standpoint as well as from a team standpoint.

“We are off to a good start,” said Johnson. “Some areas to work on, but no complaints about the 13-0-1 start.”

In the short term, Johnson has his eyes on winning a championship this season with the Jets. After that, he wants to play at the NCAA level and pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering.