Justin Johnson

Enforcer Justin Johnson signs AHL deal with Marlies


The Toronto Marlies have added a little muscle to their roster for the upcoming season.

The affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs has signed tough guy Justin Johnson to an AHL deal, the club announced.

A career minor leaguer, Johnson has appeared in two career NHL games with the New York Islanders during the 2013-14 season.

For those unfamiliar with Johnson’s work, the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder dropped the gloves with 6-foot-8, 259-pound John Scott in just his second NHL game.

Johnson has had a string of 100-plus penalty minute seasons in the minors.

The Anchorage, Alaska native appeared in 45 games with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces last season scoring three goals and two assists to go along with 147 penalty minutes.

Video: 32-year-old rookie Johnson wins fight against much bigger John Scott


Buffalo and the Islanders were eliminated long before they wrapped up the season with New York’s 4-3 shootout win over the Sabres on Sunday. Consequently, it was a game that had very little meaning to the two franchises, but it’s still likely to stick out in at least one player’s mind.

At the age of 32, New York’s Justin Johnson was playing in just his second NHL game and the minor-league enforcer got the opportunity to spar with 6’8″ John Scott. The Sabres forward is about seven inches taller than Johnson and that gap is apparent when the fighters stood face-to-face.

At first it looked like it would be a predictably one-sided brawl, but Johnson battled back and knocked Scott to the ice:

Johnson has five points and 183 penalty minutes in 48 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season.

Born in Anchorage, Alaska, he’s slowly climbed his way up the ranks. He spent four seasons playing for the University of of Alaska-Anchorage, following by parts of five campaigns in the ECHL. He didn’t even make his AHL debut until 2010-11, but he hasn’t fallen below that level since.