It is well documented the mess that unfolded in Flint, Michigan last year with the Flint Firebirds. The team’s crooked leadership has made it possible for the London Knights to bring in Tyler Johnson, who at one point was among the most highly touted American goaltenders for last year’s NHL Entry Draft.
Tyler Johnson was drafted by the former Plymouth Whalers in the 7th round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection and signed with the Whalers before they moved to Flint and became the Firebirds. Flint GM Terry Christensen at one point was quoted saying “Tyler Johnson has no future in hockey,” because he already had a vested interest in Kyle Keyser who had played for Terry for years at little Caesars. Terry then put Tyler on unconditional waivers and released him, despite being an NHL prospect.
Because Tyler signed in the OHL, he lost his NCAA eligibility and following his release, entered into a long battle with the NCAA to gain back his eligibility.
University of Maine compliance officers felt as though he had a strong enough case to be reinstated that they advised Maine coaching staff to continue to recruit him. He was offered a scholarship and verbally committed. Tyler’s NCAA reinstatement conditions however, remained up in the air. If granted, Johnson would have continued down the NCAA route.
Following complications with their NCAA appeal. Tyler Johnson was not reinstated and the London Knights began recruiting Johnson.
“He will be in London next season,” said one source close to the situation.
This is not the first time Johnson has been touted by an OHL team. Last year, it was the Mississauga Steelheads looking to sign him as James Boyd was looking for somebody to take over from Jack Flinn once his time in the OHL came to an end.