Winger Justin Johnson of Anchorage -- J.J. to anyone who has ever met the cat -- continued his sweet story today when the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced they've signed him to an AHL deal for the upcoming season.
The backstory: J.J. is a guy who has tirelessly worked his way through the ranks, from East High to UAA to the ECHL, where he played four seasons (including time with the Alaska Aces) before climbing to the AHL, where he has played the last three seasons. His is a tale of persistence and belief in himself.
At 32, he'll be entering his fourth season in the AHL. He spent the last three seasons with the Manchester Monarchs on that circuit. Now he's off to Bridgeport, the affiliate of the New York Islanders.
And, from the hockey-is-a-small-world department, one of Bridgeport's assistant coaches is former Aces forward Eric Boguniecki, the former NHLer whose final season as a pro came with the Aces in 2009-10, when the Aces also featured a certain winger -- J.J.