The 2021-22 NHL season has been full of heartfelt storylines for Jack Johnson.
It started with turning a tryout contract into a full-season gig. Then, he became a regular contributor on the blueline. Then, he made it to the Stanley Cup final for the first-time in his 16-year career.
And now, he fulfilled a lifelong goal: graduating from the University of Michigan.
Johnson revealed ahead of Game 2 in Denver that he completed his general studies program at Michigan this spring, nearly two decades after starting his two-year college career with the school. He quickly became one of the hottest prospects in the league and turned pro after his second season with the Los Angeles Kings.
"It took me... what, 18 years? Most people are doctors at that point," Johnson said with a laugh.
Johnson said he took classes when he was out of the playoffs early and during some down time throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's something he's very proud of, especially as someone who grew up idolizing the school and its hockey program.
"It was a big thing for myself, I wanted to do it to do it," Johnson said. "Growing up, I dreamed of playing college hockey at Michigan, I wanted to graduate there. I made a promise to (former Michigan coach) Red Berenson when I left that I was going to finish, so I made a call to him when I did."
He's got the certificate, now he wants the other big prize: the Stanley Cup.