Johnson becomes 11th hockey player to score 100 points
Ian Johnson received the rare opportunity to play varsity hockey as an eighth grader.
Four years later, Johnson joined a rare list of members of the Park Rapids boys hockey team who tallied more than 100 career points.
Johnson surpassed the scoring milestone with a goal in a 3-2 win over Red Lake Falls on Feb. 2. With that goal, the junior forward became the 11th player in school history to reach that scoring mark.
"You always want to get to benchmarks," said Johnson. "It's a nice accomplishment."
As an eighth grader, Johnson had four goals and six assists for 10 points.
During his freshman season, Johnson finished sixth on the team in scoring with 22 points (13 goals, nine assists). Johnson tallied at least one point in 12 games and had one hat trick and scored two goals twice. Johnson also had two assists in two other games.
Johnson was the Panthers' No. 2 scorer as a sophomore with 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points. Johnson had a pair of hat tricks and scored two goals in three other games. Johnson also had four assists in a game, three assists in a game and two assists in five other games. Johnson scored at least one point in 21 games.
So far this season, Johnson ranks third on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points. Johnson had one hat trick, three assists in a game and two assists in three other games. Johnson had at least one point in 12 games.
"(The coaches) threw me in there as a left wing as an eighth grader," said Johnson, who has also played right wing, center and defense. "I go wherever the coaches put me. They tell me to play smart, move the puck and make plays."
"Ian had decent size for his age (as an eighth grader) and he was a skillful skater, so we moved him up to the first line (late in the year)," said Park Rapids head coach Pete Stahnke. "He's strong and he's smart and we've asked more and more from him every year. He does a little bit of everything for us."
Johnson, who has 44 goals and 58 assists for 102 points, is tied with Eric Grewe for the No. 10 spot in career scoring in school history. Johnson could pass Chris Knapp (104) this season to take over the No. 9 spot. Next in line are Kevin McMorrow (110), Levi Goeden (122), Pat Albee (122) and Darin Hafner (134). At the top of the list are Sam Coborn (220 and counting), Zach Lehrke (212), Tyler Lehrke (192) and Tucker Coborn (146).
After his senior season, Johnson would like to compete at the collegiate level in some sport.
"I'd like to play sports somewhere at the next level," said Johnson. "Hockey is probably my best chance. Hopefully I can play Division I somewhere."
"We moved Ian to defense, but with his style, he's still going to have plenty of opportunities to be offensive," said Stahnke. "Defense may be his best chance to play at the next level. Teams are always looking for athletic defensemen. With his size and speed, I can easily see Ian playing at the next level somewhere."