Capitals Re-Sign Lucas Johansen To Two-Year Deal

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Lucas Johansen: 2022 Annual Review And Forecast

By Jon Sorensen

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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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4 Responses to Capitals Re-Sign Lucas Johansen To Two-Year Deal

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s now or never for LuJo. I like that the current deal is two-way for this season, so he can be sent down if he can’t cut it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, if our prospects aren’t quite ready, they need Hershey ice time, not sitting in DC.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        Confirmed. He improved a lot last season. Is he truly NHL-ready, that’s still a question in my book. He needs a great start this fall. I think he will be their opening night regardless,but whether he sticks into December;January, that will be the question.

        • steven says:

          Keep LoJo inwash and also resign Irwin as he has shown that he can sit for spells adn still play effectively. This way LoJo can play on a regular basis and get a night off every 2 weeks. the plus here is you get not 2 but 2 inexpensive contracts.

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