Erik Johnson’s Number Retired by his Former High School


Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson had his number retired by the Academy of Holy Angels High School. Johnson attended the Catholic school his freshman and sophomore years before transferring to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to play on the United States National Development Team.

The Academy of Holy Angels held a ceremony to retire Erik Johnson’s number and jersey after a charity golf tournament called Shoot for the Stars. Participants in the tournament paid $175 per foursome for 18 holes of golf and a box lunch. The tickets also included a steak dinner at the conclusion of the golfing. The retirement ceremony took place prior to the dinner.

Erik Johnson was on-hand to sign his jersey before it was retired. He wore the number nine during his time as an AHA Star. (Fun fact: the team mascot is Shiner the Angel.) He played 31 games as a Star, earning 13 goals and 21 assists for 34 points. He helped the team go 25-5-1 his sophomore season. They also won the Conference Championship.

A photo from a previous Shoot for the Stars Tournament:

Erik Johnson at the AHA golf tournament. Photo credit: Academy of Holy Angels.

During that time, the AHA Stars were considered a hockey powerhouse, which lasted from 200 to 2006. The Stars played in the Missota Conference of the Minnesota State High School League. High school hockey in Minnesota is a big deal in the way high school football is a big deal in Texas. AHA won the entire tournament in 200 and 2005, though those weren’t Johnson years.

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According to Gary Rufsvold, who’s in charge of developing special projects, Erik Johnson is a “humble” person who supports the academy not just for hockey but also for scholarships.

In addition to retiring Erik Johnson’s number and jersey, the Academy of Holy Angels retired another alumnus’s, Jack Hillen. Hillen is currently a defenseman for the Carolina Hurricanes. He spent his entire high school career at AHA.

As a high school junior and senior, Johnson participated in the National Team Development Program, which is under the aegis of USA Hockey. The prestigious program aims to centralize the training of elite-level high school athletes. The hockey players who are accepted into this program are groomed to represent the US National Team at international competitions. While enrolled in the program, student athletes stay with billet families and attend an Ann Arbor high school. Johnson attended Pioneer High School.

Johnson went on to participate in the following international competitions:

  • World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
  • IIHF World Juniors Under-18 (2 gold medals)
  • IIHF World Juniors Under-20 (bronze medal, 1 other appearance)
  • IIHF Worlds (bronze medal, 1 other appearance)
  • 2010 Olympic Games (silver medal)

The Shoot for the Stars Tournament and ceremony took place on June 17, at Deer Run in Victoria, Minnesota.

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