Report: Capitals Acquire Center Johan Larsson For Third Round Pick

The Washington Capitals have acquired center Johan Larsson from the Arizona Coyotes for the Capitals third round pick in 2023. He is presently making $1,400,000 this season and is an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Coyotes will retain 50% of his salary.

Larsson would be a 5th center or bottom-six left-wing candidate for the Capitals. The 29-year old is coming off of a sports hernia surgery in early February. He was placed on IR on February 8.

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Larsson, who is coming off sports hernia surgery, will need about a week, give or take, of practice time.

“A strong two-way player with good hockey sense and on-ice vision. Not overly flashy or technically skilled, but Larsson works hard, passes the puck well and is very valuable in all zones of the ice. A true team player with some nice offensive upside too. Decent skater, but could be faster. Leadership qualities.”

Larsson has played the last two seasons with the Arizona Coyotes. Prior to that he played seven years for the Buffalo Sabres. Larson was originally drafted by Minnesota in the second round (#56 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. Larsson played only one game with Minnesota before being dealt to Buffalo at the 2013 deadline in a multi-player swap that sent veteran winger Jason Pominville to the Wild.

Although he displayed some scoring prowess in three AHL seasons early in his career, Larsson has settled in as a bottom-six forward whose value is chiefly in his defensive ability. He is capable of playing center or on the wing. Now in his 10th NHL season, Larsson has yet to get a taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs.


From The Capitals

The Washington Capitals have acquired forward Johan Larsson from the Arizona Coyotes for a 2023 third round pick, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Arizona will retain 50% of Larsson’s contract.

Larsson, 29, a native of Lau, Sweden, recorded 15 points (6g, 9a) in 29 games with the Coyotes this season. The 5’11”, 206-pound forward ranked second among Arizona forwards in penalty kill time per game (1:49). Additionally, Larsson’s 4.57 relative shot attempt percentage at five-on-five ranked first among Coyotes with at least 20 games played.

In 474 career games with the Minnesota Wild, Buffalo Sabres and Arizona, Larsson has recorded 126 points (52g, 74a).

Larsson was selected by Minnesota in the second round, 56th overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft.

Larsson has represented Sweden in the World Junior Championship in 2018, winning a gold medal after recording two assists in 13 games. Johansson also represented Sweden in the 2011 and 2012 World Junior Championship, captaining the team in 2012 en route to a gold medal.


By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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25 Responses to Report: Capitals Acquire Center Johan Larsson For Third Round Pick

  1. Casey says:

    He’s a good forward…

  2. Dan says:

    Great get!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Plan the parade!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Laviolette continues to put high premium of defense, at the risk of sacrificing offense. It’s a bold strategy Cotton.

  5. scott sheard says:

    Looks like our GM is clueless in MARYLAND

  6. Anonymous says:

    He is not a 5th center candidate. He will replace AJF when he comes back from IR.

  7. Marky says:

    Defensively responsible forwards help your young goalies no? I think the Caps have the offense and skill they need. The only thing that they lack a bit is more toughness on the defense and we will see if his gamble was right or not to not address that more.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I get what you’re saying, Marky. Laviolette puts such a high premium on defense, even with his bottom six forwards – more so than other teams. This is a perfect example, essentially trading out Sprong for Larsson (all offense vs. all defense)

      • Marky says:

        Yeah. Caps are like top 1o in scoring I heard so that was not a priority. I think he wants forwards in these playoffs who will support the D and the goaltending. I don’t hate this playoff strategy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We get Mojo back and the three teams ahead of us get real players. We just went backwards.

    • Marky says:

      Well, if you flip your logic and say the Caps got Giroux and Chiarot but the Panthers got Johansson and Larsson would we for sure beat them in a playoff series? Oh plus we would have lost a bit more in draft picks and prospects to acquire them both, which Caps fans would complain about…

      • Anonymous says:

        I would not complain about trading picks (or prospects) for something to help. Carolina gets Domi, Pit gets Rakell, Rags get Copp +. Would rather kept Sprong and the third than have either player we traded for. Do you like our chances more now than yesterday?

  9. Don says:

    No matter what Caps do at trade deadline, there will always be the haters posting. I have not been a fan of giving up the 1st round picks over the past decade…but here we are, now. So happy to be actually holding our 1st and 2nd rounders. This has been a good season, so far, and we have seen some sampling of future young Caps. We’ve played the majority of the year without Backy, Oshie, and Mantha…and it now feels like we just added 3 top players(except for Oshie currently being injured again)…Sprong needed to be traded because this team just wasn’t the fit for him. He would have pushed to move on to a better opportunity. We got a more rounded and experienced player, who can also play Center, and has familiarity with this team. If healthy, the Caps can play with anyone. Overall, we need players to tighten up our Defensive unit as a whole team. We just did that with these 2 additions, and didn’t give up much.

    • Anonymous says:

      Glad you are happy. Not a hater. Just frustrated with direction and make up of team. Who are these two going to replace that makes us better? What problems did they solve? Depth is fine but if the organization had trust in young players that might have seen we had better depth pieces already.

      • steven says:

        They solved nothing and improved this team not at all. GMBM did this so he could say to the boss…..See I did something now it is up to the coach and players! Time for GMBM, a clone of GMGM, to go.

  10. steven says:

    Lets see…..3 draft picks and 1 player left and 2 players came in. One has been out 19 games with a sports hernia and the other is a re-re-re-re-re-retread. Johanson goes and packs almost no punch anymore so what line does he play on? If he is so good on the D why is his +/- a -22? Sorry does not compute especaills as his salary is more than Sprongs and although Sprong plays average D he can score. By the way the cost for Marcus is $25K more than Sprong and I thought they were looking to reduce salary? And Larsson who is suppose to be so good on the D is a -16 the past 2 years and a -57 for his career. Larsson is a UFA after this year and so is Johannson and we lost picks for these, pardon me for saying this, these bums! Larrson is on IR. Hate to say this about GMBM but these were 2 bone headed moves. I would ahve been happier if he kept the picks and stood pat as I dont see where either player improves this team this year or next. Looks like he is saying,,,See boss I did something! Time for Ted to wake up and see that GMBM is nothing more than a GMGM clone only worse. Trying to make a team that is #4 in their conference get to #1 or the Cup is not going to happen. Sit back an just be happy watching Ovie chase the scoring record. After that and when he and Backy and Carlson all leave then you can see some picks come in and maybe the team advance past the 1st round and look like a Cup team!

  11. redLitYogi says:

    interesting comments. They must REALLY like Larsson to trade a 3rd for a guy who had sports hernia surgery only last month. For me picking up Mojo is all good for these reasons: 1. he’s one of the best skaters in the league 2. he’s very familiar with our core and will fit in right away 3. he can play all forward positions on all lines. 4. he’s an asset on offense with his speed, skill, and passing (but he lacks finishing). Perhaps the guy I think is comparable (albeit younger by 3 years and better) is Chandler Stephenson. He can slot up and down the lineup, he’s responsible on defense, he’s a great skater, and he’s an active and aggressive contributor on offense. He doesn’t score as well as Stephenson and he’s slightly smaller.

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