March 11, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former Notre Dame defenseman Stephen Johns ’14 is set to make his National Hockey League debut for the Dallas Stars on Friday night as they take on Central Division rival Chicago at the American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas).
Johns will become the eighth former Notre Dame player to appear in the NHL this season, joining Ian Cole (Pittsburgh), Erik Condra (Tampa Bay), Vince Hinostroza (Chicago), Anders Lee (New York Islanders), Kyle Palmieri (New Jersey), Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh) and Riley Sheahan (Detroit).
Johns will also become the 14th player to play for the Irish under Head Coach Jeff Jackson before making his NHL debut. All told, Johns will be the 28th player in program history to reach the NHL.
After patrolling the Irish blue line for four years (2010-14), Johns joined the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s AHL affiliate, for eight games to end the during the 2013-14 season. During his Irish career, the hard-hitting defenseman suited up for 164 games while scoring 15 goals and adding 42 assists for 57 points to go along with 300 penalty minutes.
Johns, who was a second round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (60th overall), then played for Rockford for the entirety of the 2014-15 season. After posting 21 points on four goals and 17 assists as well as a plus-30 rating for the IceHogs, Johns and Patrick Sharp were traded by the Blackhawks to the Stars for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt in July of 2015.
After spending training camp with the Stars, Johns joined Dallas’ AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, to start the 2015-16 campaign. He played in 55 games before being called up to the NHL, posting four goals and 20 assists in those 55 games to go along with 43 penalty minutes and a plus-7 rating.
— ND —
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).