July 18, 2012

Bruins add more depth on 'D' with signing of Aaron Johnson

By Jesse Connolly

Precisely one week after signing Garnet Exelby, Peter Chiarelli has inked another veteran defenseman to boost the Bruins' depth on the back-end.

The GM agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with 29-year-old rearguard Aaron Johnson on Wednesday. The Nova Scotia native will earn $650,000 in the NHL. He'll be paid $105,000 in Providence.

Johnson is a veteran of 281 NHL games, most of which have come in multiple stints with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected him 85th overall in 2001 NHL Draft. 

In his first three pro seasons, the 6-foot-2 defenseman appeared in 116 games for the Jackets, including a career-best 61 contests in 2006-07. After that he bounced around, spending time with the Islanders, Blackhawks, Flames, Oilers and multiple AHL teams.

In 2011-12, he returned to the Blue Jackets and had his best NHL season to date, notching a career-high 16 points in 56 contests. For the season, he had 99 hits and ranked fourth on the team with 72 blocked shots.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.