JOHANSSON TO PLAY PROFESSIONALLY IN SWEDEN
KEARNEY, Neb. – After spending his final year of junior eligibility with the Tri-City Storm, goaltender Jacob Johansson has decided to return to Sweden to pursue a professional career, signing a two-year deal with Linköping HC of the Swedish Hockey League.
The netminder, who originally hails from Stockholm, Sweden, appeared in 42 games for the Storm during the 2013-14 season. Johansson racked up over 2,000 minutes in between the pipes, seventh most in the league.
"I loved every part of my year in Kearney," Johansson said. "I want to thank the organization for giving me the opportunity to represent the team and I want to thank the fans for giving us their full support throughout the year even when we didn't play our best hockey."
Johansson also recorded three shutouts among his 14 total wins, which was fourth best in the USHL. His 1,174 saves were fifth most among all goaltenders.
The six-foot, one-inch goalie is excited about his contract with a team in what is considered the top pro league in Sweden. But Johansson expects he'll need to prove himself and will likely start out on a loan with a team in the second-best pro league in the country.
After a bout with mono kept the goaltender on the bench for the final weeks of the season, Johansson said he is healthy now and will begin offseason workouts in the coming weeks.
The Linköping organization is nothing new for Johansson, as he played for their junior team before coming to the USHL.
"I actually spoke with Linköping throughout most of the year since I played there last season," Johansson said. "We actually have two players from the U.S. and there are a lot of players from other countries so I don't think the difference is going to be too big."
Johansson said that the year spent in the USHL will help him because of how many games he played.
"I got used to playing a lot of games," Johansson said. "The media coverage was great and I loved interacting with our loyal fans."
His final USHL statistics included an overall record of 14-22-3, with a goals against average of 3.07 and a save percentage of .910.
"I want to thank my billet family (John and Robyn Schulthiess) for being amazing and providing me with everything I needed while in the U.S.," Johansson said.
With the 2013-14 season in the books, Tri-City is now preparing for the two annual USHL Entry Drafts, which will take place May 5-6. The Storm will have the No. 3 overall pick in both drafts.
Courtesy Tri-City Storm Media Relations