Colorado Avalanche Goals for Core Players in the 2017-18 Season

DENVER, CO - APRIL 06: Gabriel Landeskog
DENVER, CO - APRIL 06: Gabriel Landeskog /
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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 19: Erik Johnson /

Erik Johnson

2016-17 Points: 17 (2 goals, 17 assists)
Career Best Stats: 39 points (10 goals, 29 assists) in 2009-10; (9 goals, 30 assists) in 2013-14
2016-17 Shooting Percentage: 2.1%
Special Concern: only 46 games played

Defenseman Erik Johnson is the cornerstone of the Colorado Avalanche blueline. He sees the top minutes against the top lines. When the likes of Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid are on the ice, Johnson gets tapped to stop them.

Johnson isn’t a stay-at-home defenseman — he’s two-way. He’s not going to jump into the play as much as Tyson Barrie, but EJ is expected to contribute on offense as well.

As with every other core player, last season was a bad one for Erik Johnson. In fact, his broken leg in early December is part of what derailed the Avalanche’s season. (Not-so) fun fact: Erik Johnson has never played a full NHL season.

Here are three goals I’d like to see Johnson reach:

  • Play all 82 games
  • Record 39 points
  • Achieve at least 5% shooting accuracy

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The Colorado Avalanche need their best defenseman, as we saw all too clearly last year. Unfortunately, Johnson is injury prone. He did come close to playing a full season in 2013-14, but the (stupid) NHL Department of Player Safety suspended him for two games.

Johnson has twice reached the 39-point mark in his career. At 29 years old, he’s in his prime for a defenseman. I’d like to see him reach that mark again — this year, specifically.

One way to help that is by improving his shooting accuracy. You certainly don’t expect a defenseman to have the same shooting accuracy as a forward. However, his career-average is 5% — more than two times better than last year’s. There’s no reason he couldn’t achieve that again.