Graduating Pistons defenceman Doug Johnson has committed to Albertus Magnus College of NCAA Division III for next season.
The Darien, Conneticut native was acquired by the Pistons from the Flin Flon Bombers of the SJHL at the beginning of December and stepped into a big role from the minute he arrived in Manitoba. In 31 games with Steinbach during the regular season, Johnson had one goal and eight assists. He chipped in with two assists in nine games with Steinbach during the 2019 MJHL Playoffs.
“Dougie came to us at the trade deadline and fit in extremely well,“ Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck said. “He is an excellent young man who brings a professional approach to the game and is a tremendous teammate. We wish him all the best as he begins his collegiate career.“
Albertus Magnus College, nicknamed the Falcons, is located in New Haven which is about 40 miles northwest from Johnson’s hometown in Darien.
The 20-year-old says he toured some schools over the Christmas break, but got excited to get the chance to play hockey closer to home. “The surrounding area of New Haven is a great city and I could really see myself there,” he said. “Beyond the school itself, Kyle Wallack (Head Coach for Albertus Magnus College) was great throughout the recruiting process and I felt strongly about our relationship.”
Having never had a hockey team in the past, Albertus announced last year that they will be fielding a brand new D-III hockey team for the 2019-20 season. “The chance to start a new program and have the chance to build some tradition was too great to pass up on,” Johnson remarked.
The college has put together some impressive recruits already for next season. One of them is Johnson’s former teammate and close friend, goaltender Pierce Diamond, who played with the Bombers and helped the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals pull off a big playoff upset over the powerhouse Penticton Vees this season.
Johnson says that an old friend from midget hockey will also be headed there next season. “I’m very excited to rekindle those friendships, as well as make some new ones,” he said.
He only spent five months with the Pistons, but that was enough time to impact the dressing room both on and off the ice as a leading figure. “They taught me how a top notch program operates and how a team should carry themselves in order to succeed,” he said of the organization. “The opportunity I was given on the ice was very influential in my development as a player and leader which aided my journey through recruitment. Steinbach offered me a platform to showcase myself as a player and a person to schools and others alike.”