When Marcus Johansson finished last season with career-highs in goals and points (20 and 47), many believed the 25-year old had finally broken out and become the dynamic offensive threat he was once projected to be.
Drafted by the team with the 24th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Johansson has shown flashes of offensive potential, but has yet to consistently produce. For a guy that makes $3.75 million, Johansson’s simply not playing like his salary indicates. He’s on pace for 15 goals, 32 assists, and 47 points. While this will match a career-high in points, it simply isn’t enough to justify keeping the Swede long-term.
According to a recent report by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, multiple teams have been inquiring about his availability. General manager Brian MacLellan should take the opportunity and deal him for drafts picks and/or a mid-tier prospect. With Andre Burakovsky needing more playing time to develop and promising Stanislav Galiev clearly ready for an NHL gig, the Capitals would be fine without Johansson. But while some may argue that MoJo is too important a player to move, there is simply no reason for the Caps to keep playing time from two young players not even close to their prime.
Johansson, in all actuality, isn’t the type of player that can make an impact in a game. He is not even remotely physical and passes the puck far too much. He’s a player the Caps thought would be a difference-maker for them, and after five seasons in the NHL at age 25, Johansson’s chances to become an impact player have almost-certainly run out.
By Michael Fleetwood