Adding quality, character individuals into the dressing room is an important part of
building any winning team, and Jackson Murphy-Johnson certainly has boat-loads of
that. As a self-proclaimed “old-school” defenseman, Murphy-Johnson features a
physical edge to his game and the 20-year-old defenseman has settled in nicely with
the Blackfalds Bulldogs since arriving late in the 2021-22 season.
Playing the majority of his junior career in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL),
Murphy-Johnson previously split time with the Trail Smoke Eaters, Coquitlam Express
and Merrit Centennials before joining the Bulldogs midway through the season. The
Burnaby, BC product says he’s enjoyed the pace of the play he has witnessed so far in
the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), and revealed that the two leagues are quite
comparable in terms of competition.
“Very comparable leagues,” Murphy-Johnson confirmed. “Junior ‘A’ across Canada is
very competitive and you get that here too, especially in our division, there’s a lot of top
teams so it’s been a really easy transition and I’m extremely familiar with the pace of
With access to a new arena and facility, the Eagle Builders Centre, and with a
tremendous amount of community support surrounding the new franchise, Blackfalds is
quickly becoming a desirable destination for young hockey players looking to advance
their hockey careers. Being a late season acquisition to a new team, in a new league
can be tough, but settling in as a member of the Bulldogs has been a seamless
transition according to Murphy-Johnson.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Murphy-Johnson exclaimed. “I joined the party a little late, I got
a trade here late November, but I mean, it was a pretty easy decision to come to a
facility and place like this, with the coaching staff they have and numerous resources to
help me grow as a player. So yeah, it was a quick and easy decision.”
— Blackfalds Bulldogs 🇨🇦 (@AJHLBulldogs) March 14, 2022
As a multi-sport athlete, Murphy-Johnson played lacrosse for over ten years, but with
hockey being the main focus, it leaves little time for pursuing other pastimes. However,
when he’s not at the rink, or in the gym training, Murphy-Johnson enjoys hanging out
with his billets: the Barteski family. He also revealed he has discovered a fun way to
unwind away from the game by spending time entertaining his billets’ 3-year-old son.
“I’ve got an awesome billet family here in Blackfalds,” Murphy-Johnson explains. “They
have a three old kid, so it’s a lot of board games, nerf wars, stuff like that. Watching
movies with him, reading books; you know, things kids like,” he said with a smile.
On the ice, Murphy Johnson has one clear goal in mind when it comes to his hockey
career and it’s a goal that most Junior ‘A’ hockey players can attest to, and that is to
secure an NCAA commitment.
“One of my goals, for as long as I can remember, was to get an education out of hockey
so, just like everyone else in Junior A throughout Canada, they’re chasing that Division I
scholarship. That’s why you take this route, so that’s what I’m chasing.”
Murphy-Johnson has truly enjoyed being a part of the inaugural season in Blackfalds in
2021-22, admitting it has been “pretty special” to be a part of a new program in its first
The experience has been something that “no one can ever take away”, something
he says he’ll always be proud of.
Article by Bryan Wilson