Andrew Johnston has planned on joining the Union College Dutchmen, but then the Philadelphia Flyers showed up. The 20-year-old undrafted forward never played Major Junior hockey, but Paul Holmgren must have seen something he liked in Johnston during his time with the SJHL's Humboldt Broncos.
Homer swooped down back in May and stole Johnston's NCAA eligibility, signing him to an entry-level contract. Now he finds himself just cracking our inaugural Top 25 Under 25 list. What do we have in this guy?
BSH reader T.C. Engel has seen Johnston play up in the SJHL and shared this scouting report for us in the FanPosts:
Johnston was signed for his ability to make offense, this is no surprise. He is an absolutely deadly shooter, which his playoff stats this year may indicate: 10 G in 14 games. However, sometimes Andrew is reluctant to shoot, in favor of trying to set up a teammate, which he did regularly in the playoffs when his line was changed from Ryan Marshall and Josh Roach, a natural defenseman, to Marshall and Emrick Guillemette, a QMJHL veteran power forward. Johnston likes to hold the puck on the power play, looking to either find a cross ice pass or a shot on goal.
He seems hesitant to pass to defensemen at times, though that may have been due to a deficiency in offensive defensemen on the team. Additionally, Johnston is a very good puckhandler. He is great one-on-one; I am hard pressed to remember an instance where he lost to the defenseman in a one-on-one. Above average speed, acceleration, and agility. He is pretty good in these areas, but definitely is not a Gaborik-esque skater.
The toughest thing about scouting Johnston is that most of us have no idea the level of skill in the SJHL. We don't know how his game will convert to the pro level, but Union's high interest in him certainly means something. Enough, apparently, for him to crack our list. Here's how the panel voted.
Votes for Andrew Johnston:
- Bill Meltzer: No. 20 --- 6 points
- Anthony SanFilippo: No. 13 -- 13 points
- 19 total points.
Players ranked at No. 25: