Blues sign center Johnson, defenseman Walker

Updated: June 29, 2006, 2:36 PM ET
Associated Press

Ryan Johnson

Matt Walker

ST. LOUIS -- Center Ryan Johnson and defenseman Matt Walker signed contracts with the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Johnson, one of the team's top checking forwards, had three goals and six assists in 65 games last season.

"Ryan has evolved into one of our better penalty killers with his puck pursuit and his blocking of shots," coach Mike Kitchen said. "We expect him to be one of our leaders in the penalty killing area next season."

Walker had two assists and 79 penalty minutes in 54 games last season. He set career highs in games, points and penalty minutes.

"He was able to stay injury free for most of the season," Kitchen said. "He was able to gain confidence as a player and we are looking for him to have a greater impact on the ice next season."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press