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Andrew Johnston signs deal with Flyers

The Flyers announced two bits of news late Monday afternoon: That whole thing about signing Derek Mathers to a contract is true, and they've signed forward Andrew Johnston of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League to a contract. Who?

Johnston, 20, went undrafted in the 2011 NHL Draft. He played for the Humboldt Broncos this past season, but he played the last two seasons with the Flin Flon Bombers of the same league. Yes, that's where Bobby Clarke played his junior hockey. No, that doesn't mean anything at all.

He scored 81 points in 58 games, and there's literally no way for us to tell how that could potentially translate to the NHL, AHL or even the ECHL. It was good for seventh in the SJHL, though.

We do know a few things about this guy, via this article in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.

  • He's been offered a full scholarship from the Union College Dutchmen. We've been informed by Ken Schott, a Philly-native covering Union at the Schenectady, N.Y. Daily Gazette, that the school doesn't give out scholarships. Instead, they give out packages that look like scholarships. Basically, it's a really healthy financial aid package. Union won the ECAC Hockey regular season and playoff titles this year, ultimately making it all the way to the Frozen Four.
  • Johnston planned on attending Union this upcoming fall unless an NHL team came calling. Welp.
  • Schott also tells us that the coaching staff in Union was excited about Johnston's arrival, but that his performance in the SJHL playoffs had them worried that an NHL team could come calling.
  • One head coach at a Canadian university called Johnston the best player on the ice during this past year's SJHL final. (Canadian university hockey is significantly lower quality than the NCAA, which is why a player like Johnston would turn down the nearby University of Saskatchewan for a tiny college in Upstate N.Y.)
  • Johnston scored an 1800 on his SAT. Yes, the SAT goes up to 2400 now.

Who knows where Johnston will play next season. He'll likely fall in somewhere in the Flyers professional system, whether it be the AHL or the ECHL, and we'll have to see where things go from there. For now, I wouldn't expect him to join the Flyers any time soon, but we'll have to watch his development.

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