Knights acquire familiar face Johnsson for WSHL’s stretch drive
Last season, the Phoenix Knights traded defenseman Brennan Johnsson to the El Paso Rhinos as the Rhinos needed experience on the back end to contend for the Western States Hockey League’s Thorne Cup.
This season, the Rhinos returned the favor, dealing the Phoenix native back to the Knights in early January to add depth and a veteran presence on the back end as the Knights battle for a playoff berth.
“Trades are not uncommon in hockey and sports – it’s just a part of the game,” said Johnsson, who turned 21 on Feb. 13. “I think Phoenix is going to make a serious run for the cup this year, which is why they traded back for me. It’s always good to be home; you just can’t beat it. Love being with my family and being around the small hockey community in which I played with and against.”
Prior to the trade last year, Johnsson had played for the Knights in 2013-14. He also skated for the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes’ 16U AAA team in 2010-11 before leaving the state to play in Georgia for the TPH Thunder 16U AAA team in 2011-12 and the Las Vegas Storm 18U AAA the season after.
Now back home, Johnsson wants to finish his junior career on a strong note and create opportunities to be able to play college hockey in 2016-17.
“I think one of my biggest roles is to be a leader in all departments, whether it’s leading by example or being the support in the locker room to get the boys going,” Johnsson said. “No matter the situation, I will always be there for these guys. There are so many great things to be said about this hockey club and organization.
“It will be sad to say goodbye to junior hockey, but it hits that point in life where you are ready to move on and start your career of studying. With that, it has always been a goal to play college hockey.”
— Matt Mackinder