The Washington Capitals announced Friday afternoon that they have re-signed defenseman Lucas Johansen to a two-year contract. The first year of his contract will be a two-way deal, making him waivers exempt.
FROM THE CAPITALS
The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Lucas Johansen to a two-year, $1.525 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. The first year of Johansen ‘s contract will be a two-way contract ($750,000/$125,000), while the second year will be a one-way contract ($775,000).
Johansen, 24, made his NHL debut and recorded his first career point on Dec. 31, 2021 against the Detroit Red Wings.
The 6’2″, 176-pound defenseman recorded 28 points (8g, 20a) in 62 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) during the 2021-22 season, establishing AHL career highs in goals, points and plus/minus (20). Johansen finished the season ranked first among Hershey defensemen in plus/minus and second in goals, assists and points.
In addition, Johansen’s 62 games played marked his highest total since the 2017-18 season (74). Johansen appeared in all three of Hershey’s playoff games, recording one assist. In 195 career AHL career games with Hershey, Johansen has recorded 73 points (17g, 56a).
The Capitals selected Johansen with their first-round pick, 28th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
The 2021-22 season was Johansen’s best season to date in the AHL. First and foremost, he remained relatively healthy for the entire season, playing in 62 regular season games and all three postseason games. Johansen played in a total of just 133 AHL games in the previous four seasons.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) February 5, 2022
Johansen showed significant progress on both ends of the ice. Offensively, he posted a career year with eight goals and 20 assists during the regular season. He also added an assist in the postseason.
Defensively, Johansen showed progress as well, with much fewer blown assignments and turnovers, and showed much better one-on-one play in the defensive zone. He was called up to the Capitals at the end of December and made his NHL debut on December 31 against the Red Wings in Detroit and recorded an assist in the game.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) February 26, 2022
Johansen’s 2021-22 season has set him up for his most important off-season of preparation leading into Capitals training camp this September. The Capitals will be looking to get younger and will have open positions on the Blueline to do just that. Johansen, Alex Alexeyev and even Bobby Nardella will all be competing for as many as 2-3 open blueline positions on the Capitals this coming season, with Johansen holding a very slight edge heading into this off-season.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 24, 2022
A strong performance in Capitals training camp will land Johansen a spot on the Capitals opening night roster, likely as a 7th or 8th defenseman to start. He has one disadvantage when compared to Alexeyev, in that Alexeyev can play on both sides, and spent most of last season playing on the right side, his opposite side, for the Bears. Alexeyev also showed well on the right side during his season in the KHL. Unfortunately Alexeyev underwent shoulder surgery last month and will miss the first half of the 2022-23 campaign.
By Jon Sorensen
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