Port Moody’s Kent Johnson has been named the top forward in the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
The 17-year-old centreman for the Trail Smoke Eaters led the BC Hockey League in scoring, with 101 points in 52 games. That was 30 points more than the league’s next top skater, Surrey’s Christopher Tellier, who tallied 71 points in 58 games.
Johnson also led the BCHL in power play goals, with 14, and his eight game-winning goals were second-best in the league. As well, he played for the Canada West team at last December’s World Junior A Challenge in Dawson Creek.
Those accomplishments have caught the attention of NHL scouts. The website eliteprospects.com has listed Johnson amongst its top prospects for the league’s 2021 draft and Josh Bell, at The Hockey Writers, has him ranked as high as eighth.
In November, Johnson told The Tri-City News, playing in the NHL is “obviously a goal of mine.” He’s committed to attend the University of Michigan next season, the alma mater of his coach at Trail, Jeff Tambellini.
In February, Johnson was awarded the BCHL’s most valuable player and most sportsmanlike player awards.
Meanwhile, former Coquitlam Express head coach Jason Fortier is a finalist for the CJHL’s coach of the year. He already has the honour in the BCHL.
Fortier left the Express at the end of March when he couldn’t agree to terms on a new contract with owner Fayaz Manji.
There were also philosophical differences, Manji told The Tri-City News, adding he wants the organization to put a greater emphasis on cultivating and promoting homegrown talent.
On April 10, Fortier was announced as the new coach and general manager of the Odessa Jackalopes, a North American Hockey League team in Texas.