Nick Wass/Associated Press
After being stuck with just $4.6 million in cap space following the re-signing of star center Evgeny Kuznetsov to an eight-year deal, the Caps had to find a way to free up cap space. They did just that moments after signing Kuznetsov by trading forward Marcus Johansson to the New Jersey Devils.
Per CSN MidAtlantic’s Tarik El-Bashir, the Capitals will receive a second-round and third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Johansson, who is entering the second year of a three-year deal signed last summer. The move frees up $4.583 million in cap space, which now gives the Caps $9,239,893 million to sign their remaining restricted free agents (Andre Burakovsky and Philipp Grubauer), per CapFriendly.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) July 3, 2017
The Capitals released a statement regarding the trade:
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have acquired a second round (previously owned by Florida) and third round (previously owned by Toronto) picks from the New Jersey Devils in the 2018 NHL Draft in exchange for forward Marcus Johansson, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Johansson, 26, registered 58 points (24 goals, 34 assists) in 82 games with the Capitals last season. The 6’1”, 209-pound forward has earned 290 points (102 goals, 188 assists) in 501 career NHL games with the Capitals. He was drafted by Washington in the first round, 24th overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft.
A former first-round pick of the Capitals (24th overall in 2009), Johansson has spent his entire NHL career with the Caps. His versatility has enabled the Caps to use him at every forward position and he was an important component of the team’s power play. In 501 games played with the Caps, Johansson scored 102 goals and added 188 assists for 290 points. While it is difficult to see him go, the reality is that the Caps needed to do something to free up cap space for their young RFAs. With Burakovsky able to play both wing positions, trading Johansson may have been the right move to make in the short and long-term.
By Michael Fleetwood