Jr. Ducks' Johnson Becomes California's Highest-Ever USHL Futures Pick

Anaheim Jr. Ducks Midget 16U AAA defenseman Ryan Johnson became the highest drafted Californian in the United States Hockey League's Futures (or Phase I) Draft on Monday when the Sioux Falls Stampede selected him third overall. 

Johnson, who was invited to the U.S. National Team Development Program's top-40 prospects evaluation camp in late March, is a 2001 birth year and son of Jr. Ducks Director of Coaches Craig Johnson. Ryan Johnson was one of four past and present Jr. Ducks selected by USHL teams. 

"It's huge for the program," said Jr. Ducks Director of Player Personnel Alex Kim, who along with Craig Johnson coached the 16U AAA team. "Ryan's a really good hockey player who has put in a lot of hard work, as have Drake Usher and Brett Roloson."

Usher, a teammate of Johnson's this past season, and Roloson, a former Jr. Ducks player, went in the Phase II portion of the draft, which this year was for players born in 2000 or earlier. 

The early selection of Ryan caught the Johnsons a bit off guard, Craig said. 

"We're very excited. I'm very happy and very proud of him for how hard he's working in the game," he said, adding he learned of the selection while Ryan was working out. "He knows because he's drafted the hard work starts now. He's got to train and get ready for whenever he takes that next step."

Ryan Johnson had 28 points in 36 games in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, and added seven points in 11 CAHA games. He helped the Jr. Ducks 16U AAA team and the Santa Margarita Catholic High School both reach the USA Hockey Youth Nationals this past season. Santa Margarita, a member of the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League, reached the championship game at Nationals. 

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