GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota junior center Luke Johnson has signed a three-year contract with the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks and will forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility.
Chicago drafted Johnson in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Johnson scored 11 goals and added 10 assists for 21 points in 2015-16, to help lead the Fighting Hawks to the program’s eighth NCAA Division I men’s hockey championship and its second straight Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champions. A native of Grand Forks, N.D., Johnson tied for the team lead with five power-play goals and led the squad in faceoff percentage (54.9), faceoff wins (394) and faceoff attempts (718).
In 127 career games at North Dakota, Johnson collected 30 goals and 36 assists with a plus-19 rating. Thirteen of his 30 career goals came on the power play, the most among active UND skaters in 2015-16.
Thompson became the fourth member of UND’s junior class to sign an NHL contract since the end of the season, joining his cousin Paul LaDue (Los Angeles) and defensemen Troy Stecher (Vancouver) and Keaton Thompson (Anaheim).