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Trent Johnson, freshman defenseman, poses for a portrait inside Bird Arena on Aug. 27. Johnson played for the Campbell River Storm, a junior B team in British Columbia, Canada, before coming to Ohio University. 

Hockey: Trent Johnson finds connection to Ohio through coach Sean Hogan

Trent Johnson finds Ohio the "perfect fit" in his hockey career.

Ohio didn’t find Trent Johnson. Johnson found Ohio.

After staying in touch with coach Sean Hogan throughout 2014, Johnson was scouted by the Bobcats coaching staff and offered a place on the team not long after, something he didn’t give much thought.

“They offered me the spot, and it fit me personally as a person,” Johnson said. “It pretty much was a no-brainer.”

The rising freshman looks to join a “winning culture” at Ohio, as well as help fill the loss of three Ohio defensemen from last year’s national quarterfinal team.

“I can be a puck-moving, playmaking defenseman,” Johnson said. “Whatever coach asks me to do, I’ll do it to the best of my abilities.”

Hogan was hopeful that the defenseman’s skillset on the back-end would be beneficial on the offensive side of the ice, and he has been. 

In 11 games played, Johnson has scored six points for Ohio, including two goals and four assists so far this season. 

“He’s a smaller defenseman, but he skates really well and is a really smart player,” Hogan said.

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It would be an understatement to say Johnson is well traveled before coming to Bird Arena. The offensive-minded defenseman comes by way of Rochester, Michigan, having played in British Columbia, Canada; Texas and New Hampshire. 

“I really was looking for a school that was good academically, as well as a school with a good ice hockey team where I can develop myself educationally and hockey-wise,” Johnson said. “I wanted to be close to Michigan, where I’m from. Ohio was the perfect fit.”

Johnson spent the majority of last season in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada, playing for the Campbell River Storm, a junior “B” hockey team in the Vancouver Island Hockey League. He tallied five goals and 17 assists in 22 games.

Hogan described Johnson as “scrappy” and said: “He’s not big, but he plays the game hard and has a high compete level.”

“I’m a smaller defenseman, one of the smaller defensemen you’ll see,” Johnson said. “But I use my speed to make good plays and jump into the rush to create offense, but play sound defensively.”

Making the transition from junior hockey to the American Collegiate Hockey Association isn’t easy, but Johnson has acclimated just fine in the green and white.

“Johnson reminds me of Tyler Pecka from this year’s team,” Hogan said. “They’re pretty similar players.”

Johnson has lived with billet families, friends, as well as living by himself in his time on the road. Billet families are similar to living with a foreign exchange family. 

But now, his home is on the ice in Bird Arena. 

“It’s gonna be a good, new experience. The biggest difference will be getting up, going to class, then to practice,” Johnson said earlier in the year.


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