By @MichaelCaples –
There’s going to be another Johnson coming through the Michigan hockey program.
Kenny Johnson, brother of former Wolverines standout Jack Johnson, told MiHockey that he committed to the University of Michigan today.
The younger Johnson, a 16-year-old defenseman currently skating with the Shattuck St. Mary’s program in Minnesota, said there wasn’t a doubt in his mind where he wanted to go for college.
“It wasn’t very hard to make a choice, I’ve always wanted to go there since I was a little kid,” the ’98 birth-year defenseman said. “I went to every game of my brother’s, I was always running around the rink. I guess the hardest part was making the call and going to do it because I couldn’t believe it was real.”
Johnson, who is entering his junior year of high school, said he isn’t sure what year he will join the Wolverines just yet. Despite traveling around the country with his family to be close to Jack, he returns to Ann Arbor every summer and also trains at Barwis Methods in Plymouth.
The new Wolverine commit said that he already has a great relationship with Michigan coach Red Berenson, due to his family circumstance.
“I went in to see Red…sat down with him in his office and said I wanted to be a Wolverine. I walked out as happy as could be. I’m happy to go to college there.
“I’m guessing he knows me better than he knows other kids. Because of the situation, I’m lucky to have that chance of him watching me grow up. I went to every Red camp during the summer I could, six weeks in a row. Our relationship’s great, he’s excited and I’m excited to come in in a few years.”
According to EliteProspects.com, Johnson recorded six goals and 13 assists in 47 games with the Shattuck U16 team this year, along with 171 penalty minutes.
He admits that he doesn’t remember much of watching his older brother skate at Yost, however.
“My favorite memory was just running around the rink, I was so young that I didn’t watch the games very often, but it was really cool,” Johnson said. “I’d always go down to the glass and it’s still a tradition now, every time my brother comes out for warm-ups at his game, I’ll go down to the glass and he’ll bang his stick on the glass in front of me. He did it then…he even does it now in the pro games.
“To me, he’s not an NHL superstar or a great player. To me, he’s just my older brother. I don’t think of him as somebody who plays in the NHL and does all these great things. To me, he’s Jack. It’s really cool when I step back and think about how well he’s done and what he’s doing and what he’s going to do, but in the end, he’s just Jack, and nothing’s going to change that.”