IceHogs Rookie Has Bright Future

Rockford- The IceHogs are likely to fall short of the playoffs again this season, but there’s hope for next season since several talented young players likely to return.  One of them is rookie defenseman Stephen Johns

Notre Dame is known for it’s football. But hockey guys like Johns have a big place in their heart for the land of the golden dome also. He spent the past four years there and he played in three NCAA Tournaments.

"I wanted to pay my parents back and get an education and what better place to do it than Notre Dame. I went on a visit there and it felt like home. I felt like I needed to be there," says Stephen Johns, IceHogs rookie defenseman.

But Johns turned the page on April 4th when he joined the IceHogs. He made an immediate impression seeing plenty of ice time in his first two games and scoring his first goal. All of that without the benefit of a single practice.

"He’s a big body. He played physical. He followed his checks. He got a nice goal during the rush in the second game, so we like what we see so far," says IceHogs Head Coach Ted Dent.

"My brother actually coached him at Notre Dame when he played the last three years. He’s a good kid. I think that’s the most impressive thing with his talent he’s also a good person," says Jared Nightingale, IceHogs defenseman.

The Blackhawks are expecting big things from this big 6-4, 215 pound defenseman. He was their second round draft pick in 2010.

"Ever since 2010 when I got drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks I’ve been waiting for this day to come. I like to think of myself as a defensive defenseman first. I try and play as physical as possible. Whenever I can chip in on offense I’ll try as much as possible. I feel like I can continue to build and improve on every aspect," says Johns.

The IceHogs host the Chicago Wolves Friday at 7:00pm.

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