Hockey Winnipeg wishes best of luck to Linesperson Justin (“JJ”) Johnson on his National Hockey League regular season officiating debut tonight, working the Winnipeg Jets game against the Nashville Predators. Johnson, 23, who has been officiating for 10 years, started in the Seven Oaks Minor Hockey Association, later serving as Referee in Chief.
Johnson was signed by the NHL to work a split contract, with up to 40 games at the NHL level, and 40 AHL assignments this season.
“Justin has used his unique physical traits, skating ability and taken full advantage of every opportunity he’s been given along the way to get to this point.” said Hockey Winnipeg VP Officials Mark Alward. “Hockey Winnipeg and all of JJ’s colleagues across Manitoba are eagerly waiting for the chance to cheer him on wearing the NHL crest. I’ve had the pleasure of working with JJ the last number of years and can attest to his development not only on the ice, but off it.”
Johnson is the first Manitoban hired to the NHL as an official since Ryan Galloway in 2002.