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

    • Chiefs end Everett's nine game win streak

      The Spokane Chiefs pulled out the victory in back-and-forth game against the Everett Silvertips on Friday night, snapping Everett’s nine-game winning streak. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Hudson Elynuik led the way offensively with two goals – including the game-winner – and an assist.

    • Day 8 of National Finals Rodeo

      Chris Byers and Jake Jones recap the night in Las Vegas. They talk about what a struggle it was for Ty Erickson and how he might have lost his shot at the title. Then they talk about JR Vezain, who is hanging out close to the top of the standings. He will get a re-ride tomorrow. Jake talks about brody cress, the recent college grad, and how he has a shot at the title. Cress talks about not listening to the outside noise and focusing on his rides. Then, Jake and Chris talk about their ...

    • Winterhawks edge out Chiefs 4-2

      The Spokane Chiefs suffered a tough loss on Tuesday night as they fell to the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 4-2.

    • Chiefs unleash teddy bears and goals against Thunderbirds in 9-2 win

      Saturday night, the Spokane Chiefs held their annual Teddy Bear Toss night where they defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 9-2.

    • Chiefs fall at home to Rockets, 4-2

      With the Americans losing in regulation tonight, the Chiefs hold onto second place in the U.S. Division.

    • Sounders headed back to MLS Cup after 5-0 aggregate win over Dynamo

      The result means that the Sounders will, once again, take on Eastern Conference Champion Toronto FC with a chance to repeat on the line when the clubs meet for MLS Cup 2017 on Saturday, Dec. 9.

    • Nelson Cruz named winner of Outstanding DH Award

      Cruz led the American League with 119 RBIs while putting up a .288/.375/.549 slash line with 39 home runs in 155 games. He was fourth in the AL in home runs and fifth in slugging percentage and OPS.

    • Chiefs dominant in 6-2 win over the Blades

      The win pushed Spokane into second place in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of the Tri-City Americans. Spokane has now scored 32 goals in their last seven games.

    • Chiefs score 6 goals in win over Rockets

      Spokane Chiefs rookie forward Milos Fafrak picked up his first career WHL goal and Zach Fischer tallied a goal and an assist for the second-straight night on Wednesday

    • Sounders beat Dynamo 2-0 in Leg 1 of Western Conference Finals

      After Leg 1 of the Western Conference Championship, the Seattle Sounders are in the driver’s seat.