By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
Less than five months ago, we used this space to discuss the phenomenal run of Utah Grizzlies forward Trevor Smith during his first professional season.
Shortly thereafter, the undrafted rookie was promoted to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the American Hockey League. He never returned to the ECHL, as he racked up 37 points (20 goals, 17 assists) in just 53 games in the AHL.
Grizzlies forward – and fellow rookie – Keith Johnson took notice of that. It’s why the University of Maine product continues to work on his game at the Double-A level, where he’s been one of the top performers in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Johnson, 23, has tallied 13 points in 11 contests this postseason, helping the Grizzlies on their surprising run to the National Conference Finals. His hope is that scouts have taken notice and he, like Smith, gets a shot in the AHL.
“Well obviously, it’s big,” Johnson told NHL.com this week. “Scouts like to see playoff points and how you can perform in the games that really matter. Obviously me being a rookie and having a good run so far in the playoffs will definitely help me in the future. Hopefully I can keep it going this next round.”