NO. 1 PICK JOHNSON TO ATTEND COLLEGE
"We feel this is a win-win situation for Erik to be going to an excellent hockey program to continue his development," said Davidson. "This is beneficial for his career, short term and long term, to play for the Gophers. He will have an opportunity to compete for an NCAA National Championship (in St. Louis in April of 2007), play in the World Junior Championships and enjoy university life."
Johnson, 18, was the first overall selection by the Blues in last month's NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver, British Columbia. A native of Bloomington, MN., Johnson has spent the previous two years with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI.
The 6-4, 222-pound Johnson tallied 49 points (16 goals, 33 assists) along with 88 penalty minutes with the U.S. National Under-18 team this past year while winning a gold medal at the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championships for the second consecutive year.