A fine playmaking forward who could play right wing and centre, Al Johnson played one full NHL season and parts of three others between 1956 and 1963. He also enjoyed success and earned accolades as an amateur as well as the minor leagues.
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Johnson starred with the St. Boniface Canadians of the Manitoba junior league. After leading the league in assists in 1953-54, he headed for Quebec to suit up for the Trois Rivieres Flambeaux and the Montreal Royals. He next averaged over two points per game for the Souris Elks of the Big 6 circuit. In the aftermath of an injury to Bernie Geoffrion, Johnson played two games for the Montreal Canadiens when they were in the middle of their 5-Cup dynasty in 1956-57.
After demonstrating consistent scoring ability in the IHL, QHL, and WHL for four seasons, Johnson was given a full opportunity by the Detroit Red Wings. He scored 37 points in 70 games playing mostly with Norm Ullman and Leo Labine. After splitting the 1961-62 between Detroit and the AHL's Hershey Bears, Johnson was relegated to the minors for all but two games.
Johnson returned home to play for the senior Winnipeg Maroons and helped the club win the Allan Cup in 1964. The next year he scored six points in seven matches as the Maroons won a bronze medal for Canada at the World Championships. He spent one more year helping to solidfy the national team program before retiring temporarily in 1966. After two more productive seasons in the minors he retired for good in 1969.