Erik Johnson Deserves to Win the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche

No player in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals deserves to win a championship more than Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson.

The 34-year-old blueliner is in his 14th season in the NHL and has spent portions of 12 seasons in Denver with the Avs.

12 years with an organization is very unusual in professional sports. In fact, his tenure with the Avalanche, which began after his acquisition in February 2011, currently makes him the longest-tenured player in Denver among the city’s professional franchises.

It’s an impressive feat for Johnson, no doubt, but he’s had to put in the time and take his nuggets to get to this point.

Erik Johnson deserves to win with the Avalanche.

Johnson, who was first picked overall in 2006, has suffered a number of serious knee injuries in his career, including a stint with the St. Louis Blues that kept him away for a full season.

He bounced back every time and has put up solid individual numbers throughout his career. However, he didn’t see the Stanley Cup Playoffs until 2014, his sixth season in the league. The Avalanche lost in the first round and he did not return for the postseason for five years.

During that time, Johnson and co. had little team success, highlighted by a dismal showing of 22 wins in the 2016-2017 season.

It wasn’t always pretty, but Johnson has been through everything with the Avs, making him the type of player fans want to see win this season.

With 25 points (eight goals and 17 assists) and a career-best plus-22 rating in the regular season, he’s a big part of this team’s recent success.

In the playoffs, Johnson has five points and is an 11-plus in his team’s 15 games played.

He’s not one of the first players that springs to mind when recalling previous top picks, nor does he strike fans as an indispensable defender. Still, he was the model of consistency for the Avalanche and is now three wins away from his first Stanley Cup championship.

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