By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
As the season approaches we will be giving you a chance to meet the new Tauros as well as learn a little more about the returning players by asking them 20 questions. We will be going in number order, yesterday we started with Jon Flakne, and today we hear from Johnny Walker. Come back tomorrow to hear from Max Mettler.
Johnny Walker’s second season in Minot went much better than his first. Walker spent much his injury plagued rookie campaign watching from the stands, appearing in just 24 contests and scoring two goals as a defenseman. Walker stayed in Minot over the summer and worked on his game, that hard work paired with a move to forward made a world of difference for Walker as he tacked 40 points on to his total from the previous year. Showing a nose for the net and a willingness to get to the dirty areas Walker flourished skating with Blake Lizotte and Christian Mohs on the Tauros’ top line. He became the first player in the Tauros’ four year history to score 20 goals in a season and finished third on the team (behind his linemates) in scoring with 42 points (20g 22a).
The Pheonix Arizona native quickly became a fan favorite for his out going personality off the ice which becomes larger than life on it. Ask any Bismarck, Aberdeen, Brookings, or Austin fan or player which Tauro they hate the most and Walker will be their answer. Aside from setting the Tauros goal mark last season he also set the single season penalty minutes mark with 136 pims, thanks in large part to just about every opponent's desire to fight him. One thing is for sure, whether he is scoring or not opponents and fans will notice Walker when he is on the ice, and that is just the way he likes it.
From the Coach’s Office: Johnny is a player that comes in with high expectations this season. With this being his third year in the league and coming off a breakout season, Johnny will be a leader both on and off the ice this season. Johnny's offensive skillset is very good, and he is a natural scorer. We expect him to expand his role, and build off what he did last season. – Head Coach Marty Murray