Spokane Native Set to Make NHL Debut - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Spokane Native Set to Make NHL Debut

Spokane native and former Chiefs star Tyler Johnson is set to make his NHL debut. (Courtesy Spokane Chiefs) Spokane native and former Chiefs star Tyler Johnson is set to make his NHL debut. (Courtesy Spokane Chiefs)

Courtesy Spokane Chiefs

TAMPA BAY - The National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled Spokane native Tyler Johnson from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, the Lightning's vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Johnson will wear number 63.

Johnson, 22, has played in 59 games this season with the Crunch, collecting 31 goals and 57 points to go along with a plus-25 rating. He ranks first on the Crunch and second in the AHL in points and leads the league in goals. Of his 31 goals, 11 have come while on the power play, tied for third in the AHL. The Central Valley High School graduate native has recorded six multi-goal games this season with Syracuse.

The 5-foot-9, 182-pound forward has posted back-to-back 30-goal seasons in his first two professional seasons in the AHL. In 134 career AHL games, all in the Lightning organization, Johnson has recorded 62 goals and 125 points to go along with plus-47 rating. During the 2011-12 season, Johnson ranked second in AHL rookie scoring with 68 points and was named the AHL Player of the Month for March, collecting six goals and 14 points during that stretch. He skated in 14 AHL playoff games last season with the Norfolk Admirals, tallying six goals and 14 points to help them win the Calder Cup.

Johnson was originally signed by the Lightning as a free agent on March 7, 2011. He skated in 266 Western Hockey League games during four seasons with the Spokane Chiefs from 2007-2011, recording 128 goals and 282 points. Johnson won the Brad Hornung Trophy for the WHL's Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year and was the Western Conference Player of the Year in 2011, his fourth and final season as a Chief.

Johnson will become the sixth Chief off the 2008 Memorial Cup Championship team to play in the NHL; Jared Cowen (Ottawa), Jared Spurgeon (Minnesota), Justin Falk (Minnesota), Dustin Tokarski (Tampa Bay) and Drayson Bowman (Carolina).

  • Pro

    • Nebraska picks Washington State AD to head athletics program

      LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska has hired Washington State athletic director Bill Moos to head its sports program. University officials announced the pick on Sunday, less than four weeks after firing AD Shawn Eichorst.

    • Americans stun Chiefs with five goals in third period

      The Spokane Chiefs built a 2-0 lead into the second intermission but the visiting Tri-City Americans came back with five third period goals to hand the Chiefs a 5-2 loss at Spokane Arena on Saturday night.

    • WATCH: Mom buys “Feisty Pet” toy for son, it backfires

      WATERTOWN - A Watertown mom is going viral for a video she posted after she purchased a “Feisty Pet” toy for her kids, thinking it would be a fun surprise.

    • United States to miss World Cup for first time since 1986

      The United States has been eliminated from 2018 World Cup contention after falling to Trinidad and Tobago 2-1, ending the Americans' streak of seven straight appearances at the World Cup.

    • AP Top 25 shakeup: Penn State to 3; Wazzu, Auburn in top 10

      Penn State moved up to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll, and Washington State and Auburn jumped into the top 10 for the first time this season after six ranked teams lost this past weekend. Alabama and Clemson still hold the top spots.

    • McGrew scores 1st WHL goal in loss to Portland

      The 2017 San Jose Sharks' sixth round draft pick punched in his first WHL goal and pushing the Chiefs to an early 1-0 lead, but the Chiefs couldn't keep the momentum, losing 6-1 on Friday night at Spokane Arena.

    • Three Chiefs prospects named to WHL Cup rosters

      Included are three Spokane Chiefs prospects, including Jack Finley (British Columbia), Reed Jacobson (Saskatchewan) and Alex Von Sprecken (Saskatchewan).

    • Chiefs score last-second goal to beat Silvertips 5-4

      The Spokane Chiefs scored with less than three seconds left in regulation for a dramatic 5-4 win over the visiting Everett Silvertips on Wednesday night.

    • Six former Chiefs on NHL opening night rosters

      The Spokane Chiefs have six former players represented on opening night rosters around the NHL on Wednesday night, including 2016-17 team MVP Kailer Yamamoto.

    • Former Cougar lineman Riley Sorenson announces cancer is in remission

      Former Washington State Cougar lineman Riley Sorenson beat cancer again. If you're not familiar with Sorenson's story, in the span of a year, Sorenson lost both parents at separate times, fought testicular cancer one time before, recovering in time to play his senior season. Sorenson announced in June that his cancer had returned.