College Hockey Scoreboard from CHN

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's official - Johnson leaves Michigan for NHL

Michigan's 8-5 loss to North Dakota last night at the Denver regional was the last game for seven Michigan seniors and now, it appears sophomore defenseman Jack Johnson is also leaving Ann Arbor - but for the NHL.

According to the Michigan Daily, Johnson flew to Los Angeles after last night's game to join the Kings, while the rest of the Wolverines flew back to Michigan.

"I thought I was ready for a new challenge," Johnson told the paper. "With all my close friends, the seniors, gone now and everything, I thought it was time for me to pretty much go for a new challenge."

The 20-year-old Ann Arbor native came to Michigan already drafted third overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. Some believed Johnson should have signed with Carolina then, but he stood behind his decision to play for the Wolverines. The Hurricanes offered multiple contracts to Johnson throughout his first year, but on Oct. 1, 2006, after Johnson had rejected another offer, Carolina traded his rights and defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky to Los Angeles for forward Eric Belanger and defenseman Tim Gleason.

Johnson notified Michigan head coach Red Berenson of his decision a week ago.

"I have no regrets about coming here, being a Wolverine," Johnson added. "I'm still proud as hell to be one."

MONDAY UPDATE:
--In today's Ann Arbor News, Johnson says it's not a done deal.

TUESDAY UPDATES:
--It IS a done deal, says Johnson in today's Ann Arbor News.
--Red Berenson responds in a U of M press release.

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