A rock-solid defenceman throughout his career, Trevor Johansen was destined to be an elite blueliner had not it been for a multitude of knee injuries that ultimately shortened his time in the game.
In 1973-74, Johansen, as a 16-year-old, cracked the line-up of the Thunder Bay Hurricanes squad, who had received special permission from the Thunder Bay Amateur Hockey Association to compete in the Midwest Junior Hockey League in the U.S.
His efforts there helped his squad finish in top spot in the six-team league as he contributed 44 points in 59 outings, including 13 goals.
While the Herks did not compete in the MWJHL playoffs, they did take part in the local Jr. playdowns.
There, the squad was all business as they swept the Case Eagles and Fort William Canadiens to win the Jack Adams Trophy as local Jr. champs.
Moving to the Centennial Cup trail, Johansen’s Thunder Bay side would go the distance in a seven-game series with the Wexford Raiders from Toronto to advance to the Eastern Canadian Final.
However, the Hurricanes wouldn’t be as fortunate there as they fell four games to three vs. the Smiths Falls Bears from the Ottawa area.
Johansen’s play did however catch the attention of the powerful Toronto Marlboros, who took him fourth overall in the 1974 Ontario Hockey Association Draft.
In his rookie year with the Marlboros, registered 51 points in total helping Toronto win the 1975 Memorial Cup.
A mainstay on the Marlies blueline for three seasons, Johansen went on to appear in 172 OHA contests where he collected 16 tallies and 89 assists for 105 points.
His efforts also saw him named to the Canadian contingent that competed in the 1977 World Junior Championship in Czechoslovakia.
There he helped Canada win a silver medal.
Continuing to be noticed, the Toronto Maple Leafs chose Johansen in the first round, 12th overall, in the 1977 NHL Draft.
He went on to crack the Leafs’ line-up as a rookie in 1977-78 where he appeared in 79 games.
His father Bill (Red) Johansen, played for Toronto some 27 years earlier, and who like his son, was on a Memorial Cup-winning roster. (1948 Port Arthur West End Bruins.)
The younger rearguard went on to add 13 playoff games with the Maple Leafs in his first year in the NHL.
Back and forth with Toronto and their AHL affiliate, the New Brunswick Hawks, in 1978-79, he was eventually traded to the Colorado Rockies to play for their coach, Don Cherry.
That year, he also made his second appearance for Canada, playing in the 1979 World Hockey Championship in Russia where he had a pair of goals and a helper in eight games with his country finishing fourth.
That campaign, Johansen received his first and only hockey card, appearing as Card No. 320 for O Pee Chee’s 1978-79 release. It can be purchased for around a dollar.
After three years with the Rockies, a season with the Los Angeles Kings and a return to the Maple Leafs, Johansen’s injury-plagued pro career came to a close with a six-game stint with the AHL’s Springfield Indians in 1982-83.
Despite the persistent knee troubles, he was never shy in doling out a stiff body check and did appear in a total of 286 NHL contests where he scored 11 times and helped set-up 46 more while accumulating 282 penalty minutes.
Trevor Johansen’s contribution to the game saw him inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame back in 1997.