With only a goal and two assists in eight games this season, Port Moody's Kent Johnson hasn't exactly had a monster start to his sophomore year with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
So now, the fifth overall draft pick in the NHL's 2021 entry draft is a Monster.
Johnson has been sent down to the Blue Jackets' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters. In his place, the team recalled right winger Yegor Chinakhov.
Johnson, 21, averaged 12:49 of ice time in the eight games he played.
But he was also scratched from the Blue Jackets' lineup twice and, according to the 1st Ohio Battery blog, he was benched for much of the third period in the team's 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, Nov. 2. It was the team's first win in five games.
Johnson joined Columbus late in the 2021-22 season after finishing his second season at the University of Michigan.
He scored 16 goals and 24 assists in 79 games last season for the Blue Jackets, his first full NHL campaign as a rookie.
This is the final year of Johnson's entry level contract with the Blue Jackets, and, according to The Hockey News, he recently changed agents, taking on Patrick Brisson who's reportedly had a fractious relationship with Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen after two former Blue Jackets he represented, Seth Jones and Pierre-Luc Dubois, asked to be traded out of the organization.
Columbus has four wins, four losses and a pair of overtime losses for 10 points in 10 games.
The team is in fifth place in the NHL's Metropolitan division following a tumultuous off-season that saw previous coach Brad Larsen fired last April, and his replacement, Mike Babcock, resign just before the opening of training camp in September because of a privacy scandal. He was replaced by associate coach Pascal Vincent.
Johnson could be in the Monsters' lineup as early as tonight, when the team hosts the Providence Bruins. The two teams also play in Cleveland on Saturday, Nov. 4.