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Former Phantoms forward Adam Johnson dies after on-ice injury

(Lehigh Valley Phantoms)

Adam Johnson, a former forward for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, passed away on Sunday after suffering a tragic on-ice injury in England.

Johnson was 29 years old.

Johnson was a member of the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League, the top league in the United Kingdom.

The team confirmed his passing on Sunday morning.

The Panthers played the Sheffield Steelers on Saturday and during the contest, Johnson’s throat was accidentally cut by the skate of Steelers defenseman Matt Petgrave.

The game was abandoned with 6:13 remaining in the second period. Fans were asked to leave Sheffield Arena due to “a major medical emergency”.

Screens were set up on the ice to obstruct people from watching, and Johnson was transported to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, according to the BBC.

Johnson was an undrafted player who signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 6th, 2017, and started his professional career in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2017-18, registering 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 70 games as a rookie.

Johnson appeared in 67 more games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2018-19 and earned his first NHL recall in the process. He recorded 2 assists in 6 games with Pittsburgh that season before being sent down.

The Hibbing, Minnesota native earned another shot with Pittsburgh in 2019-20, scoring his first and only NHL goal in his home state against the Minnesota Wild on October 12th, 2019 in a 7-4 Penguins victory.

Johnson went overseas to begin the 2020-21 season with the Malmö Redhawks of the SHL in Sweden, but returned to North America to join the AHL’s Ontario Reign. He spent the remainder of 2020-21 and the first half of the 2021-22 season with the Los Angeles Kings’ top affiliate, but he was then traded to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on February 17th, 2022 for future considerations.

With the Phantoms, Johnson scored 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points in 30 games and was one of Lehigh Valley’s more effective players during his stint. The Phantoms were 12-13-5 in games Johnson appeared in, but were 5-4-0 in games he registered points in.

Johnson left the Phantoms to play in Germany’s DEL last season with Augsburger Panther before signing in the UK with Nottingham this past August, where he had racked up 7 points in 7 games.

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