Talented defense prospect Lucas Johansen registered his first professional point last night with an assist on a goal from Chandler Stephenson against the Belleville Senators.
At 4:24 in the first period of the Hershey Bear’s 2017 home opener, Chandler Stephenson knocked one home off a rebound on the power play to put the Bears up 1-0. Johansen assisted on the goal, whipping a pass from Wayne Simpson to Travis Boyd, who then fired it toward the goal.
Boyd’s shot at the net sent him spiraling to the ice, but Stephenson collected the rebound to give the Bears a lead in the game and Johansen his first point in the AHL.
“We were pretty close into the goalie there,” Johansen said of the goal, as reported by Chocolate Hockey. “The crowd was yelling shoot so we had to get one off. Just trying to set up a different angle shot.
“I felt better tonight compared to my first game. I think it takes time,” Johansen continued. “It’s obviously an adjustment for all the young guys. Tonight, even though we got the loss, personally I felt a little better with the puck and made better decisions. Keep turning in that direction.”
The defenseman was selected in first round of 2016 draft after playing for the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets. This is the soon-to-be 20-year-old’s first full season with the Hershey Bears, after signing an amateur tryout agreement with the team in May.
Johansen was present at the Capitals training camp in September, but was re-assigned to Hershey early in camp. Brian MacLellan has previously noted the likelihood that Johansen fills one of the Caps open defense roster spots at some point in the future.
“I really like Lucas Johansen, and whether it’s now or six months from now or a year from now, I think he’s going to be a factor,” MacLellan said to The Washington Post.
The Bears ultimately fell 5-2 to the Senators, after previously losing 7-2 to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms the week prior. The Bears face off against the Phantoms again tonight, looking to secure their first win of the 2017 season.
Headline photo: @chocolatehockey
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