Last winter Elkhorn’s Parker Johnson successfully made the jump from U18 AAA hockey to the junior ranks.
The son of Jamie and Tammy Johnson competed as an 18-year-old for the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. The former Yellowhead Chiefs standout acknowledged there are some differences between the two levels of the game he loves.
“The challenges of junior hockey are making sure you bring your best to every game, wanting to be the best player on the ice, and trying to adapt to practices everyday rather one to two a week in AAA,” he said.
Toward the end of the season Swan Valley head coach Barry Wolff said, “it is a big adjustment going into your first year of junior hockey. Parker gets better every day due to his commitment and desire to improve.”
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Johnson scored nine goals in 52 games last season He also had seven assists for a total of 16 points.
“Parker is a high-end skilled player,” Wolff said. “He continues to impress us with his playmaking ability and hockey IQ.”
As a 16-year-old, Johnson played 18 games with the Stampeders. He said that experience helped him become more confident on the ice. This time around Johnson said he enjoyed “meeting and merging into a great team with great teammates and coaches who helped me learn and mature on and off the ice and an awesome community who supports the team every game.”
He also was strongly backed by his family.
“My whole family has been supportive not just with the price of playing sports but showing up to games hours away and taking time out of their days,” Johnson said. “It means a lot and I’m really appreciative.”