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John Joseph Louis Johnson III was born on January 13, 1987 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although born in Indiana, Jack moved with his family to Michigan not long after he was born. It is there that he followed in his dad's footsteps and started playing hockey and developed a love for the rink. Besides hockey, Jack had another love: the University of Michigan. Although his dad played for rival Michigan State and won a national championship with Wisconsin, Jack always bled Maize and Blue. His mother and grandmother attended the University and his grandfather, Ken Manuel, played football, basketball, and baseball at Michigan.

When Jack was in the eighth grade, he and his family moved to Faribault, Minnesota to attend the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary's Prep School, where he would go to school for three years. When he was just 14 years, he committed to play at the University of Michigan, becoming the youngest player ever to commit to a college. During his sophomore season at Shattuck, a young Canadian named Sidney Crosby enrolled at the school. The two became best friends and enjoyed playing baseball and hockey together.

Despite being the only sophomores on the team, Jack and Sid contributed immensely to a national championship during the 2002-03 season. That AAA midget team is considered one for the ages as Jack, Crosby, Drew Stafford, Matt Smaby, and Brian Salcido all made it to the NHL and Ryan Duncan ended up winning the Hobey Baker award as college hockey's top player in 2007.

After his stint with Shattuck, Jack returned to Michigan to play for the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2003-05. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Jack spent two seasons in the program and captained the Under-17 team his first season. He became the all-time leading point-scoring defenseman in history with 81 points. He also owns the record for most points in a game by an NTDP player (7). Internationally, he won a gold medal with the U.S. Under-18 Team at the 2004 Compuware Four Nations Cup in Ann Arbor after tallying 1g-5a-6p in four games to lead the tournament in assists and tied for second in tournament scoring. He also won gold medals at the 2005 Five Nations Tournament in Sweden and the 2005 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, where he tallied two assists and a tournament-leading 35 penalty minutes. He won a silver medal at the 2004 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and also played for Team USA at the 2004 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in St. John's, Newfoundland, where he led USA defensemen in scoring with 3g-1a-4p in six games.

In the summer, he was selected third overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Despite pressure to sign and turn pro, Jack wanted to fulfill his commitment and live out his dream of playing at Yost Ice Arena as a Michigan Wolverine. During his freshman year, Jack made the CCHA, U.S. College Hockey Online, and Inside College Hockey Online All-Rookie teams and was a finalist for the CCHA's Best Offensive Defenseman. He helped Team USA to a fourth place finish at the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver, being named to the tournament All-Star team with 1g-5a-6p in seven games. He also set the Michigan freshmen defenseman record for points (32) and was second for goals (10) and assists (22), while also setting the all-time, single season penalty minute mark with 149 PIMs.

On September 29, 2006, just before the start of his sophomore season, Jack was traded to the Los Angeles Kings along with Oleg Tverdovsky for Eric Belanger and Tim Gleason. He remained committed to Michigan and finished his sophomore season as an American Hockey Coaches Association West All-American first team member, as well as All-College Hockey News, All-U.S. College Hockey Online, and CCHA first team members. He was named the CCHA's Best Offensive Defenseman, CCHA All-Tournament team member, and led the nation's defensemen in goals (16) and points per game (1.08). He set the Michigan sophomore defenseman record for goals (16), which was the second highest total ever by a Michigan defenseman. He also helped Team USA win a bronze medal at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden, where he scored 3 goals in seven games and was named one of Team USA's top three players as determined by the coaching staff.

When Michigan's season ended with a lost to North Dakota in the 2007 West Regional, Jack signed with the Kings on March 27, 2007 and made his NHL debut two days later against the Vancouver Canucks. He played in the final five games to finish the NHL season and then played for Team USA at the 2007 IIHF World Championship. By turning pro immediately after his college season ended, he was able to use the NHL games and world tournament to prepare in the summer for the following season by knowing what to expect.

To start his first full season in the NHL, the Kings faced the Anaheim Ducks at O2 Arena in London, England for the first regular-season NHL games played in Europe on September 29-30, 2007. He tallied his first career point on October 10 in Dallas and scored his first career goal on October 19 in Vancouver. He was selected to participate at the YoungStars skills event as part of the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend in Atlanta. His season was cut short after he broke his foot blocking a shot in mid-March, however, he was still named the Kings Best Newcomer (Mark Bavis Memorial Award) and Outstanding Defenseman.

Although he was able to start his second full season in 2008-09, a lingering shoulder injury was aggravated during the second game of the year, causing him to have surgery and missing three months of action. At the conclusion of the season, he played for Team USA once again at the 2009 World Championships in Switzerland, where he tallied 5 goals and 2 assists in nine games.

The 2009-10 season was special for Jack as he was named to the 2010 US Olympic team. Despite representing the United States on a number of occasions, the Olympics were a lifelong dream and something he will treasure forever. He became the first active American NHL player to walk in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, and eventually helped Team USA win a silver medal in Vancouver. The Kings also made the playoffs for the first time in his career and his 7 assists in six games set a Kings playoff record for most assists by a defenseman in one series. After being knocked out in the first round, Jack had another chance to represent his country, this time as the captain of Team USA at the 2010 World Championships in Germany, where he played in front of a world record crowd of 77,803 against Germany (since beaten by "The Big Chill at the Big House" between Michigan and Michigan State).

Jack played in all 82 games for the 2010-11 season and set career highs with 37 assists and 42 points. The Kings once again made the playoffs, but lost in the first round to the San Jose Sharks. Jack was able to play for Team USA at the 2011 World Championships in Slovakia. As is the case in each of the summers since he signed with the Kings, Jack continued to take classes at the University of Michigan during the summer to work on completing his degree.

To start the 2011-12 season, the Kings returned to Europe playing games in Stockholm, Sweden (New York Rangers) and Berlin, Germany (Buffalo Sabres). Jack recorded his first career regular-season game-winner with an overtime goal against the Rangers. On February 23, 2012, Jack was traded along with a conditional first round draft pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jeff Carter.

International Experience

  • 2012 World Championship (captain)
  • 2011 World Championship
  • 2010 World Championship (captain)
  • 2010 Olympic Games (silver)
  • 2009 World Championship
  • 2007 World Championship
  • 2007 World Junior Championship (bronze)
  • 2006 World Junior Championship
  • 2005 World Under-18 Championship (gold)
  • 2005 Five Nations Tournament (gold)
  • 2004 Compuware Four Nations Cup (gold)
  • 2004 World Under-18 Championship (silver)
  • 2004 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Awards and Achievements

  • First NHL Game: March 29, 2007 - Vancouver Canucks
  • First NHL Point: October 10, 2007 - assist at Dallas Stars
  • First NHL Goal: October 19, 2007 - at Vancouver Canucks
  • 100th NHL Game: March 1, 2009 - at Chicago Blackhawks
  • Kings Playoff Record for most assists in one series (7), 2010
  • Kings Best Newcomer (Mark Bavis Memorial Award), 2007-08
  • Outstanding Defenseman, 2007-08
  • NHL YoungStar, 2008


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