Blue Jackets sign first-round draft pick Johansen to 3-year contract

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed centre Ryan Johansen to a standard three-year entry level contract.

General manager Scott Howson announced on Thursday the deal with the 18-year-old Johansen, who was taken fourth overall in last summer’s draft.

He scored 25 goals and had 44 assists in 71 games with Portland of the Western Hockey League during the 2009-10 season. He ranked second among WHL rookies in points in the regular season, then added six goals and 12 assists in 13 playoff games.

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Howson called Johansen a big part of the franchise’s future.

Johansen will participate this weekend in a prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich.

A native of Port Moody, B.C., Johansen played with Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League in 2008-09.