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MEN'S HOCKEY: Beavers add defenseman to early signing class

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men's hockey team announced it had signed another player to its 2016-17 early signing class on Wednesday with the addition of defenseman Bradley Johnson. The Chesterfield, Mo., native plans to begin his BSU hockey car...

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BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team announced it had signed another player to its 2016-17 early signing class on Wednesday with the addition of defenseman Bradley Johnson. The Chesterfield, Mo., native plans to begin his BSU hockey career in the fall of 2017.

Johnson currently plays for the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League. The defenseman is a veteran of the USHL having played parts of five seasons dating back to 2012-13.  

Johnson has played an important role defensively for Fargo and has been a mainstay on the team’s penalty-kill unit, which has given up only two goals in 64 opportunities (.969) to lead the USHL. In 15 games for the Force, Johnson has three assists.

In his first season with the Force (2015-16), Johnson appeared in 57 games and recorded two goals and 14 assists, with two assists on the man advantage, to trail only future BSU teammate Tommy Muck (4g-13a) among Force defenders in scoring.

In total, Johnson has played 87 USHL games and has logged two goals and 21 assists.

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“Bradley is an ultracompetitive defenseman who will have completed three years of junior hockey when he arrives at Bemidji State next fall,” BSU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Eddie Olczyk said in a press release. “He’s playing in arguably the best junior league in North America, the USHL, and will be ready to come in and contend for a spot in our lineup right away. Bradley has the ability to kill penalties and neutralize the other team’s forwards with his active stick. He’s determined to win every 50/50 puck and is able to make plays under pressure in the defensive zone and in transition. He’s an intelligent hockey player who will be a great addition to our defensive core.”

Johnson joins Ethan Somoza and Brendan Harris in the Beavers’ early signing class.

The No. 13 Beavers, now 9-2-1 overall and 9-0-1-1 in league play, continue WCHA play this week as they host Northern Michigan on Friday and Saturday. Both games are set for 7:07 p.m.

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