The story of Ross Johnston is just puzzling. The Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island native signed a brand-spankin' new deal with the NY Islanders in Oct. 2021 for four years worth $1.1 million annually. The deal kicked in this season and now, he'll have three more years remaining following a season in which he really didn't do all that much. Perhaps he earned the extension because of his ability to instill fear into the opponent on the other side of the ice, or because the Islanders were holding onto a contingency plan whenever their fourth line might have given out, but the latter didn't happen and Johnston didn't serve much of a purpose this season.
*Read our previously Published player report cards:
-Sebastian Aho | Josh Bailey | Mathew Barzal | Samuel Bolduc | Casey Cizikas | Cal Clutterbuck |Noah Dobson | Pierre Engvall | Hudson Fasching | Simon Holmstrom | Bo Horvat
NY Islanders 2022-23 player report card:
Johnston skated in 16 games and recorded just two points, both coming as assists. That's five points less than the season prior, although he played double the games. Johnston was really only utilized when the Islanders would come across a team with a tough opponent such as a Minnesota Wild team that features a bruiser like Ryan Reaves or in a heated rivalry game against the NY Rangers to offset Jacob Trouba's physicality.
Whatever the reason, head coach Lane Lambert didn't opt to use him often unless it was absolutely necessary. It's not Johnston's fault, but the Islanders will have to deal with this for the next three seasons. It't not Johnston's fault. He secured his stability and anyone in his situation would have done the same, but the Islanders put themselves in a weird predicament where they'll have to pay him $1.1 million.
There's not much to say about Johnston nor his season, and for that, he'll receive a C. Good enough to call himself an NHLer, but not quite good enough to consistently play, however.