Johnston bolsters Blaze blue-line

Jul 8, 2022 | Club News, Signing News

Photo credit: Jeff Parsons

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze are delighted to announce the signing of 27-year-old Canadian defenceman Garrett Johnston for the 2022/2023 Elite League season.

Johnston who hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, will play his first season in Europe when he joins the Blaze, having spent the entirety of his career so far in North America.

Johnston iced for the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL last season contributing 11 assists in 49 regular season games, earning a call-up to the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks.

The 2021/22 season was the 6’2” blue-liners third total season representing Newfoundland, having initially joined the side for its inaugural season in 2018/2019.

In the Growlers first season which was Johnston’s debut as a professional, the franchise won the Kelly Cup beating the Toledo Walleye over six games. During the playoff run, Johnston played a crucial role scoring seven points (one goal, six assists) in the 23 games.

In 2019/20 he was named the teams defenceman of the season and was called up to play for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

Over his professional career, the Canadian has also spent time with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies and SPHL’s Birmingham Bulls.

Prior to turning pro, Johnston played junior hockey in the QJMHL. His time was spent predominantly with the Moncton Wildcats, while also representing Chicoutimi and Acacdie-Bathurst.

In three QJMHL seasons Johnston played in 195 regular season games scoring 15 goals and 57 assists. He would also appear in 27 playoff games with one goal and eight assists.

The defenceman also has had a taste of Collegiate hockey, spending the 2016/17 season with the University of Manitoba Bisons in USports.

Head Coach Danny Stewart said: “Garrett brings to us a great all-round game. He can be used as a shut-down guy, whilst also bringing good transition on and off the puck. He’s solid is all areas and will log quality minutes for us. He is a proven winner and competitor, and we are thrilled to get him. He’s been part of some great teams in Newfoundland, and his experience will be great for our group.”