The NHL announced that Erik Johnson will represent the Colorado Avalanche at the All-Star Game on Jan. 25 in Columbus, Ohio. It will be the 26-year-old’s first career All-Star appearance and he will be Colorado’s lone representative at the game this season.

“Feels really good to do it in Colorado. This is an organization that traded for me, believed in me, and it means a lot to do it here,” Johnson said. “I’d trade it for being first in the Central [Division] right now. You want to win and we haven’t been doing a lot of that. But on a personal note, it definitely feels good to do something like this.”

The Avalanche acquired the former No. 1 overall draft pick from the St. Louis Blues in 2011 in a deal that included Kevin Shattenkirk – who was also selected for his first career All-Star appearance this year.

Johnson is the first Avalanche defenseman to be named to the All-Star Game since Rob Blake in the 2003-04 season. Blake, Sandis Ozolinsh, and Ray Bourque are the only other defenseman to represent the Avalanche in the All-Star Game since the franchise moved to Denver in 1995.

Johnson – whose career-high 12 goals lead all NHL defensemen – is coming into his prime in his seventh NHL season. He leads the Avalanche in goals, ice time (24:17), blocked shots (92), and power play goals (3). He has 22 points in 41 games on the season.

“I’m not satisfied, this is just another page in the chapter. Got to keep getting better and keep improving,” Johnson said. “I’m very honored and humbled and I want to keep going – I’m not satisfied – I want to continue to help this team win.”

Meanwhile, the Avalanche announced that they have recalled Calvin Pickard from the Lake Erie Monsters for the fourth time this season and the young netminder is expected to start the second half of the Avs’ upcoming back-to-back series – Tuesday night’s matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The 22-year-old rookie leads the entire NHL with a .934 save percentage.

In a corresponding move, Reto Berra was sent down to Lake Erie for a two week conditioning assignment – meaning he does not have to clear waivers in the process.

“[Berra] has been working hard in the practice but I think he needs to play some games,” coach Patrick Roy said. “He is going to go the minors and play five games in two weeks, then we’re going to call him up after that

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