Johnson Walks the Line, Kind of Like Dad

By KBJR News 1

March 11, 2014 Updated Mar 11, 2014 at 4:27 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- His dad is the all-time leader for penalty minutes in University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) men's hockey history, but Derik Johnson is fine letting the old man keep that honor in the Bulldogs record book.

"I don't think anyone's going to be able to challenge him for that for a long time," Johnson said.

That's not the challenge Johnson set for himself in college anyway.
His focus currently lies on being a good teammate and a fierce competitor.

"For me, it's something I put emphasis on every day in practice," he said. "Sometimes my teammates don't like it, and sometimes they don't like it. They've all made the comment, though, that they're happy I'm on their team and not some other team."

One of the guys very happy to have Johnson on his side is UMD's senior goaltender Aaron Crandall.

"He's a guy that you love having in front of you as a goalie. He's going to put his face in front of one for you, and he's going to clear guys in front of the net," Crandall said. "If anyone touches me, he'll be right on top of them. He's a guy you like to play behind."

And if you ask his current defensive partner, freshman Willie Raskob, Johnson is a good guy to play alongside, as well.

"He blocks shots and lays his body on the line," Raskob said. "He's a tough customer, and he'll play through anything. He'll help the team as much as he can, so it's been awesome."

And for Johnson, it's been made even better by being able to play in the same uniform as his dad did some 30 years ago.

"I always wanted to play Division I college hockey," Johnson said. "That was my goal, and for it to happen in a great town like Duluth and with great teammates is definitely a dream come true."

Posted by Zach Schneider
Bio - Facebook - Twitter - E-Mail