Omaha Lancers defenseman Steve Johnson committed to the University of Minnesota Wednesday night..
Excited to announce my commitment to the University of Minnesota! Big thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way! #Gophers— Steve Johnson (@Steviej5) October 9, 2013
This isn't the first time Minnesota has taken a defenseman from the Lancers. Two current Gopher blue liners - Justin Holl and Ben Marshall - suited up for Omaha in the USHL prior to beginning
The 19 year-old played his high school hockey at Minnetonka (HS-MN) and oddly enough on the same team as departed freshman Tommy Vannelli. Johnson, who has two assists in three games, also played with current Minnesota freshman Vinni Lettieri and incoming 2014 recruit Jack Ramsey. Both were happy with the news.
Congrats to another former, fellow skipper for committing today!!!!! @Steviej5 is officially a Gopher! Pumped!— Vinni Lettieri (@19Lettieri95) October 10, 2013
Really excited to hear that @Steviej5 has committed to the U of M! Congratulations and I can't wait to play with you again!— Jack Ramsey (@Ramsey_16) October 10, 2013
With Vannelli departing for Medicine Hat (WHL) last month and two seniors on this year's team, Johnson should come in after this year for the 2014-15 season. Minnesota currently has 7 defensemen although two D recruits- Jack Glover and Ryan Collins - are slated to come in next season.
Johnson is the second player to commit to the Gophers in the last month; joining Omaha 16AAA/Des Moines(USHL) forward Tarek Baker.
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Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate