With apologies to the CBJ players over at the World Championships, there is one guy in the Jackets' organization still playing some very meaningful playoff games right now, and his name is Ryan Johansen. Given his age situation vis a vis the AHL next season, these could very well be RyJo's last games before heading to the NHL in the fall. Scott Howson told me back in March that the club hoped Johansen's playoff run would be long and beneficial, and the 18-year-old centerman has done nothing to disappoint.
Johansen's Portland Winterhawks dispatched Spokane Monday night 6-3 to claim the Western Conference crown of the WHL four games to two. Johansen was named the series MVP after burying five goals and adding three helpers in the six game series, including a goal and an assist in the clinching game last night.
The Winterhawks now advance to the WHL Championship against Kootenay. This is Portland's first trip to the Championship Series since the 2000-2001 season. The series begins Friday in Portland.
Johansen has had a stellar playoff run for Portland, potting 11 goals and adding 11 assists in just 16 playoff games. Three of Johansen's goals have come on the Power Play, and he also has a short-handed goal as well. Three of Johansen's goals have been game-winners. In short, he's been a horse in these playoffs for Portland.