From OHA to UAA, Tanner Johnson has become the 12th member of the 2013-14 Rivermen roster to secure an NCAA Division I scholarship.
It’s been a steady rise in fortunes for the Castlegar native who finished the 2011-12 season with the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Midget Prep team. The following season Johnson started the year with his hometown Castlegar Rebels of the KIJHL, putting up 15 points in 25 games before Rivermen Head Coach and GM Bobby Henderson watched him on a scouting trip to the interior. Johnson impressed and was a member of the Riv’s D-core before Christmas.
The then 17-year old put up 11 points in in 31 games in his rookie BCHL season. This past year he posted three goals and 10 assists in 54 games but most importantly he continually improved his overall game. Johnny is a gifted skater with offensive ability but also takes pride in protecting his own zone. He’s a player that always wants to be better and works his hardest to get to where he needs to be. I’m not sure there was a guy on the roster this season that was at the rink more whether it was extra time in the gym, or working in the skate shop, there’s a reason why he earned the team’s “Most Dedicated Player” award.
Perhaps most impressive to both myself, and to the University of Alaska-Anchorage staff, was his play in the post-season. Johnny upped his game at both ends of the ice when it mattered most. He was responsible in the Riv zone and significantly improved his offensive production with three goals and five points in 12 playoff games.
Johnson will join teammate Austin Azurdia with the Seawolves next season as the number of committed players on the roster continues to climb. Johnny will be missed big time around the rink in Langley, but he has earned his spot with Anchorage thanks to his work ethic and dedication. All the best, and good luck next season!