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Rays Complete Trade for Blueliner Steve Johnson

February 21, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - South Carolina Stingrays News Release

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals and AHL's Hershey Bears, announced a trade with the Reading Royals Thursday to acquire defenseman Steve Johnson in exchange for forward Matt Pohlkamp and defenseman Vinny Muto.

Johnson, 24, is in his rookie season out of the University of Minnesota and has played 35 games with Reading, as well as nine in Hershey with the Bears. The native of Excelsior, Minn. has racked up 17 points in 35 games on five goals and 12 assists with Reading, and added one assist in nine games during his time with the Bears from Dec. 12 thru Jan. 25.

Originally a fourth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 NHL Draft, Johnson played in 119 NCAA games during his collegiate career with the Golden Gophers, posting 40 points on six goals and 34 assists. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman also helped the team claim three regular season Big Ten championships and qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice.

Before playing in college, Johnson spent one year with the Omaha Lancers in the United States Hockey League (USHL) where he scored 31 points in 56 games on five goals and 26 assists while posting a +23 rating.

Pohlkamp, who signed with South Carolina in the offseason, has 27 points this season in 51 games on 16 goals and 11 assists. The Baxter, Minn. native is in his second professional season after spending his rookie year with the Quad City Mallards and posting 44 points in 70 games on 19 goals and 25 assists.

Muto was signed by the Stingrays on Nov. 27 and recorded 12 points in 34 appearances on four goals and eight assists. The 25-year-old is also in his second professional season and heads to his fifth ECHL club, having previously spent time with Rapid City, Florida and Worcester.

South Carolina is home this weekend to take on the Florida Everblades in a two-game series beginning Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Saturday's game is Star Wars Night where the first 2,000 fans will receive a light-up sword and the Rays will wear specialty jerseys! Parking for all fans will be free of charge. Tickets are on sale now!

To bring your group to the game, call the Stingrays Front Office at 843-744-2248! For single game tickets, visit

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