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Minnesota Youth Hockey Camp Creates Adam Johnson Scholarship

Minnesota Youth Hockey Camp Creates Adam Johnson Scholarship
Minnesota Youth Hockey Camp Creates Adam Johnson Scholarship

 


A youth hockey camp in Minnesota has announced the creation of the Adam Johnson Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the 29-year-old player who died in October of a skating wound to the neck while playing a match in England.

Johnson grew up attending Bulldog Hockey Camp in Duluth, Minnesota. The scholarship is intended for a youth player whose family would otherwise not have the means to participate in the camp.

Camp director and University of Minnesota-Duluth men's hockey operations director Christian Koelling said the idea came from Johnson's family as a way to honor him.

“Adam was someone who was very important to me personally, along with the UMD hockey program and the Duluth and Iron Range community,” Koelling told The Associated Press on Monday. “As a hockey player he was such a unique talent, and as a person he was so memorable. He was unique. He was a calmer kid, more relaxed, but just had a great sense of humor and he was a great kid.” teammate and really someone everyone enjoyed being around, someone you could count on. He really impressed us from a very young age.”

Koelling, his wife Jennie and the memorial fund will pay the $500 registration fee for one of the weeklong camps this summer at UMD's arena. In addition to going through the camps growing up, Johnson worked at the camp from 2015 to '17 while playing at the school.

“His father played at UMD, so our coaching staff knew Adam from a very young age,” Koelling said. “[We got to watch] him growing up in Hibbing and coming to our hockey camps and working with him there, and then having him play for the Bulldogs for two years before he goes on and has a great pro career, including achieving the lifelong goal of any northern player. Hockey player from Minnesota to play in the NHL.”

Johnson made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins in March 2019, the first of 13 games he played with them before returning to the American Hockey League and then shifting his career to Europe. Johnson spent time in Sweden and Germany before signing with the Nottingham Panthers of the British Elite Ice Hockey League last year.

His tragic death helped revive the debate about the importance of cut-resistant equipment, including neck and wrist guards, and spurred the continued evolution of equipment that can prevent similar situations in hockey. The International Ice Hockey Federation and USA Hockey have since implemented neck tear protection mandates.

The NHL and the NHL Players' Association have been studying skate cutting injuries and how to reduce and avoid them for several years, and those discussions continue. At the annual press conference ahead of the Stanley Cup Final earlier this month, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said: “Clearly, this year's events have opened everyone's eyes and brought a much greater focus to it.”

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