Justin Richards Nabs Roster Spot Voided By Adam Johnson’s NHL Signing

Lincoln Stars center Justin Richards signed his National Letter of Intent last week to play for the Minnesota Duluth men’s team in the fall, making him the ninth freshman on the Bulldogs’ roster for 2017-18.

Richards, who turned 19 in March, is coming up a year earlier than planned after center/wing Adam Johnson of Hibbing signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 6. That left the Bulldogs scrambling to find a replacement, and Richards appears to be the verbal commitment the program deems is the most ready to make the jump.

Unlike a couple of the Bulldogs’ incoming defensemen, he does have a full season of juniors under his belt. Richards posted 10 goals and 20 assists with the Stars this past season in the USHL.

Richards is the son of current Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach/former Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards. For more on Justin Richards, check out the blog on him from when he verbally committed to UMD in November.