The National Hockey League today announced Jim Johannson has been named the recipient of the 2018 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
The annual award, one of the most prestigious in hockey, was presented to the National Hockey League by the New York Rangers in 1966. It honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years in hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in the sport’s development.
“The Lester Patrick Trophy is presented for ‘service to hockey in the United States.’ Jim Johannson’s entire playing career and professional life were dedicated to the game of hockey,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “From his playing days at the University of Wisconsin and for U.S. National and Olympic Teams, through his two-decade career at USA Hockey, Jim worked tirelessly to grow our game at all levels in the United States.”
“His impact on our game was immense and improved the experience for Americans from the youth and recreational levels through the select elite chosen for National Teams. His selfless approach and delight in helping others shine made friends and admirers throughout the hockey community.”
Johannson will be honored as part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 12, in Nashville at the JW Marriott Hotel. The Lester Patrick Trophy will be presented to Johannson’s wife, Abby Johannson posthumously. Ticket information is available at www.ushockeyhalloffame.com.
Playing college hockey at the University of Wisconsin from 1982-86 Johannson helped the Badgers capture the NCAA title as a freshman. He was selected by the Hartford Whalers in the 7th round (130th overall) of the 1982 NHL Draft and went on to play 374 games of professional hockey between 1987-94 in the International Hockey League where he registered 279 points, including 119 goals. He twice played for the U.S. in the Olympic Winter Games (1988, 1992) and was also a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team that participated in the 1992 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
In 2000, after spending five years (1995-2000) as the general manager of the Twin Cities Vulcans, a Junior A team in the United States Hockey League, Johannson joined USA Hockey as a manager of international activities and U.S. Olympic Committee Relations.
Johannson was promoted to senior director of hockey operations on Aug. 5, 2003, and on June 25, 2007, assumed the position of assistant executive director of hockey operations, where he oversaw all in-sport related initiatives, including USA Hockey’s efforts in putting teams on the field of play for international competition.
Among the numerous accomplishments during his tenure, the most significant include U.S. teams capturing 64 medals in major international competition, including 34 gold, 19 silver and 11 bronze; the launching and implementation of the highly acclaimed American Development Model; and securing USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, as a home for all U.S. teams to utilize.
In addition to honoring Johannson with the Lester Patrick Trophy, Red Berenson, Natalie Darwitz, Hago Harrington, David Poile and Paul Stewart will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Dec. 12th. More information is available at www.ushockeyhalloffame.com.