Dec 23, 2012, 4:00 PM EST
You could say Ryan Johansen‘s rookie season with the Columbus Blue Jackets was a bit of a struggle. He played in 67 games and found himself playing third or fourth line minutes when he wasn’t a healthy scratch.
Thanks to the lockout, he’s playing full-time minutes with the Springfield Falcons in the AHL and he’s thriving because of it as Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch shares.
“This is way better than I expected,” Johansen said. “There’s so much positive down here.
“I feel like this is going to help my game up in Columbus a lot. I’ve learned so much from (Springfield coach Brad Larsen). He’s one of those coaches who really keeps the guys accountable, really makes sure you’re doing everything right. He’s really focused on the details, and I think I needed that.”
Winning and playing good hockey are things he didn’t quite get to experience last year with the Blue Jackets.
So far this season, Johansen has 10 goals and 11 assists with the Falcons and the team is just one point back of Syracuse for tops in the Eastern Conference. Perhaps Columbus’ future isn’t quite so bleak. At the very least Johansen, their 2010 first-round pick, is finding his way as a pro.
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