Johansen Sticks in Columbus

(John Grieshop/Getty Images)

With one tweet, the anticipation ended:

Scott Howson

@GMScottHowson Scott Howson
We have decided to keep Ryan Johnasen through the 10 game threshhold which means the 1st year of his contract will apply to this season.

And (forgiving the misspelling of Ryan’s last name above), with that, we now know that Ryan Johansen will remain with the Columbus Blue Jackets for now.  This doesn’t mean that he won’t be returned to Portland to play for the Winterhawks at some point in the season, but the chances are slim.

The Johansen story has to be one of the more incredible tales ever told in Portland Winterhawks history.  His rise from being a 7th round bantam draft pick to being a NHL player at the age of 19 defies reason.  I can still remember the 15 year old Johansen in his first WHL camp in Portland.  He was a boy that was trying to fit into a man’s body.  He was tall, lanky and (as he described himself) had a bit of baby moose legs…a little wobbly and unsteady.

But there was no denying the kid had skill and the determination and work ethic to go after his dream.  His decision to go to the BCHL in Penticton and to verbally commit to Northeastern University cast some doubt on whether he would ever play in Portland, but you got a sense that he always wanted to play in the WHL and with the new regime in Portland, it was cast that he would be a Winterhawk.

And, it was a great run – the numbers:  134 GP, 65 goals, 96 assists, 161 points, +61, 117 PIM…19 power play goals, 2 short handed, 11 game winners.  It didn’t drop off in the postseason:  34 GP, 19 goals, 27 assists, 46 points, +10, 24 PIM…4 power play goals, 1 short handed, 4 game winners.

He now will try and do his part to help resurrect the franchise in Columbus.  So far, two goals that were both game winners in the Blue Jackets only two wins.  Not a bad way to start your NHL career.

Best of luck, Ryan…we will miss you in Portland, but we are blessed for having watched you develop and become the player and person you are now.

And don’t forget…

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