April 3, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) has signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks the team announced late Wednesday.
The 21-year old Johns was selected in the second round (60th overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He joins Irish teammates Bryan Rust (Novi, Mich.) and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) as seniors to sign pro contracts this week. Johns will join Chicago’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate – the Rockford (Ill.) IceHogs – for a pair of games on the road against the Abbotsford Heat in Abbotsford, B.C.
The 6-4, 233-pound blue liner finished his senior year at Notre Dame helping the Irish to a 23-15-2 overall record and trips to the Hockey East semifinals and a second-consecutive trip to the NCAA Regionals. Johns played in all 40 games, leading Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points with the goal and point totals being career highs. He scored twice on the power play, had a short-handed goal and one game winner while being +5 on the season. Johns was second on the squad with 69 minutes in penalties. He was a second team all-Hockey East selection in his only year in Hockey East.
One of Notre Dame’s three alternate captains in 2013-14, Johns capped his season with three goals and one assist as the Irish upset Hockey East regular-season champs, Boston College, in the Hockey East quarterfinals, two games to one. He had a season-best, three-point game (two goals, one assist) in the 7-2 series-opening win.
For his career, Johns became the school’s all-time leader in games played along with Tynan as both seniors played in 164 career games, missing just one games in their careers while playing for the U.S. Junior National Team in the 2012 World Junior Championships. During his four seasons at Notre Dame, Johns scored 15 goals and had 42 assists for 57 points. Five of his goals came on the power play, one was short-handed and three were game winners. His 300 career penalty minutes tie him for second on the all-time penalty-minute list with Neil Komadoski `04.
As a sophomore, Johns was the winner of Notre Dame’s William Donald Nyrop defensive player of the year award.
During his four seasons at Notre Dame, Johns was involved in community service work and, as a junior, he received the Compton Family Leadership in Service Award for his work with M is for November, a month-long event where players grow mustaches to bring awareness to men’s health issues that include prostate cancer and testicular cancer. In two seasons, spearheading the Notre Dame hockey team’s campaign, Johns and his teammates raised over $9,600. As a senior, he was one of 20 candidates nationally for the Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.