BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team has announced the addition of Bradley Johnson (D, Chesterfield, Mo.) to its 2016-17 early signing class. Johnson has signed the necessary NCAA paperwork and plans to begin his BSU hockey career in the fall of 2017.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
* Bradley Johnson (D, 5-9, 176; 1/23/1996; Chesterfield, Mo.) is already a seasoned United States Hockey League veteran, logging parts of five seasons in the league dating back to 2012-13. He is currently in his second season playing for the Fargo Force. He has been an anchor to a Fargo defensive unit and has been a mainstay on the team’s penalty-kill unit, which has given up only two goals in 64 opportunities (.969) to lead the USHL. In 15 games for the Force, Johnson has three assists.
Fargo is 8-7-0-0 this season and is fourth in the USHL’s Western Conference standings.
In his first season with the Force (2015-16), Johnson made an appearance in 57 games and collected two goals and 14 assists, with two assists on the man advantage, to trail only future BSU teammate Tommy Muck (4g-13a) among Force defenders in scoring.
In total, Johnson has 87 USHL games to his credit and has logged two goals and 21 assists.
“Bradley is an ultracompetitive defenseman who will have completed three years of junior hockey when he arrives at Bemidji State next fall,” said BSU Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Eddie Olczyk. “He’s playing in arguably the best junior league in North America, the USHL, and will be ready to come in and contend for a spot in our lineup right away. Bradley has the ability to kill penalties and neutralize the other team’s forwards with his active stick. He’s determined to win every 50/50 puck and is able to make plays under pressure in the defensive zone and in transition. He’s an intelligent hockey player who will be a great addition to our defensive core.”
Olczyk added, “We are excited to be getting a player who has had two years to learn from a great head coach in Cary Eades and his staff in Fargo.”
Prior to his time in the USHL, Johnson played for the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League. During the 2014-15 season, he posted three goals and nine assists in 43 games to help lead the Wilderness to the postseason. In the playoffs, he recorded a goal and three assists in 12 games. He also has experience with the St. Louis AAA Blues (T1EHL).
Johnson joins Ethan Somoza and Brendan Harris in the Beavers’ early signing class. The 2016-17 class brings Bemidji State’s total of early signees since the program made the jump to Division I in 1999 to 37. Previous early signees include: seniors Brendan Harms, Phillip Marinaccio, and Charlie O’Connor, juniors Brett Beauvais Gerry Fitzgerald, Myles Fitzgerald and Leo Fitzgerald, sophomores Dillon Eichstadt and T.J. Roo and freshman Tommy Muck.
The No. 13 Beavers, now 9-2-1 overall and 9-0-1-1 in league play, continue WCHA play this week as they host Northern Michigan University Friday and Saturday. Both games are set for a 7:07 p.m. start.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).