Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Claimed By Winnipeg, Anaheim Claims Brett Leason; Lucas Johansen, Henrik Borgstrom Clear

Sunday afternoon the Washington Capitals waived Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Lucas Johansen, Brett Leason and Henrik Borgstrom, with the intention of re-assigning the players to AHL Hershey. The moves were made in order to meet the NHL’s 23-man roster deadline set for 5:00 PM on Monday.

The Winnipeg Jets claimed forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and the Anaheim Ducks claimed forward Brett Leason. Lucas Johansen and Henrik Borgstrom cleared waivers and will report to Hershey.

Jonsson-Jallby was drafted by the Capitals in the 5th round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He was waived and claimed by the Buffalo Sabres last season, but subsequently waived by Buffalo and reclaimed by the Capitals.

Leason was drafted by the Capitals in the second round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Leason played his final season of junior hockey with Aliaksei Protas in Prince Albert. Protas was drafted in the third round of the same draft, but made this years Capitals roster.

The Bears open their 2022-23 campaign on Saturday when they host the Utica Comets at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00PM.

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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38 Responses to Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Claimed By Winnipeg, Anaheim Claims Brett Leason; Lucas Johansen, Henrik Borgstrom Clear

  1. DWGie26 says:

    Argh! Leason was the one I was worried about. We don’t have any RH wings in Hershey that can legit play in the NHL this year. Figured LuJo and Borgstrom would clear. AJF was a fringe claim but wasn’t worried about losing him (for Caps). Bears could have used another LW though!

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, Winnipeg more like Sweden? Sad to see the Flo go.

  4. DWGie26 says:

    Well, they have to stay on the NHL roster. If they try to send to AHL we can claim back (automatically I think). That is what happened with AJF last year. And Chowolski (the dee we claimed from Seattle). We held him as long as we could and tried to send him down but Seattle grabbed him for their farm.

  5. GR+in+430 says:

    Not at all surprising. The Caps prioritizing vets was entirely predictable, but they will likely pay the price after this season when they will lose a significant chunk of the roster with expiring contracts, and will have fewer kids (i.e., cheap contracts) to step in and keep the entire program from imploding.

    Of course if they win a Cup this year with huge contributions from Marcus Johansson and Lars Eller, it will have been worth losing 2 decent (but not spectacular) young players. Let’s see if the Caps’ management is smarter than all of the pundits and fans like me…

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I think it’s also a reflection of the draft prowess (or lack there of) in the last 10 years.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or more of trust. Like with Stevenson, Vrana, Bura not to mention Fors.

      • They need to stock the farm. While veterans on an AHL team aren’t uncommon, I feel it would be more beneficial for the Caps (thinking along the lines of 2008-11 in Hershey) for a wave of prospects to develop and thrive in Chocolatetown together which would hopefully benefit them at the NHL level.

        Drafting is key to that process though (and keeping picks…)

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t get everyone complaining about these moves or lack of youth in the line up. If you want youth in your line up then welcome a rebuild but right now this team is in win now mode. I am sorry but I would rather have proven vets who have shown they can put up numbers in the NHL instead of “young” guys who have only scored 7 points in 36 NHL games. Protas and Snively and Mcmichael are also young and all three made the opening night roster. Protas has shown significant improvement in his skating and he was noticable in every preseason game. He can also play all 3 forward positions up and down the line up. Frankly all three of the young guys can do that minus Snively as he’s just a winger. Let’s not forget that AJF and Leason are bottom 6 forwards. I wish them all the best but I don’t see them becoming superstars or top 6 forwards in this league.

          • Anonymous says:

            Proven vets like Eller and Mojo? That’s really win now. We do young guys have to light it up from day one. They could be as good as either of those two now while costing less and having upside.

            • Anonymous says:

              What upside do AJF and Leason have? Eller has put up 20+ points in 11 of his 13 seasons and MOJO has also put up 20+ points in 10 of his 13 seasons. Leason played 36 games last year and had 6 points and AJF played 23 games and had 4 points. I would much rather lose them instead of snivley who has more offensive talent and also outplayed them both last year and in camp this year. You want this team to win another cup you don’t have AJF and Leason on your opening night roster because you want to get “younger”. Let’s see if they stick with the Jets and Ducks all year. I guarantee they don’t and will have to go through waivers again.

              • Anonymous says:

                Axel had 16 goals, not points, in 44 AHL games at 23 years old. Give him playing time and a chance to develop. History continues to repeat itself with this dumb organization.

                • Anonymous says:

                  AHL is a different animal and he was never going to be more then a 4th liner in the NHL. This “dumb” organization has been competitive and playing meaningful games at the end of the year for 12+ seasons. I would take that over the Sabers or Senators or islanders I can go on and on.

    • GR+in+430 says:

      In addition, they will need to drop at least one more player when Wilson gets back, and potentially three if Backstrom comes back and they decide that Hagelin should be activated. McMikey and Protas could be sent down… but the third move would require somebody else going through waivers… Would any of us trade anybody on the current roster for Hagelin at this point?

  6. Jonathan says:

    This is disappointing, but good luck to them. Choosing to keep McM instead of keeping one of these two is an interesting hindsight reflection.

  7. novafyre says:

    I hate to see them go. But we knew back when summer started that the Caps were still focused on vets, not prospects. They, Pits, and Bruins all beat their chests and said that they were going to remake themselves and none of the three did.

  8. Dan says:

    Finding good 3rd and 4th liners isn’t that difficult.

    So many keep repeating Burakowski and Stephenson…both would have still been 3rd line in dc

    Plus strome has better numbers than both and was essentially released.

    Sheesh, forberg – that was awful move.

    Burakoski, Stephenson, Vrana, Alex, lesson…yawn….

    None would make the Caps top 6 today.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kidding right. Mantha top 6? Mojo? Oshie? Maybe Brown will be. Hopefully Strome would be. Not to mention what return do we have for any of them.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why. Did. We. Sign. Marcus. Johansson?

    Still wondering this after so many months. A player so valuable he’s on his 6th team in 4 years.

    • I agree, I thought for sure after they acquired (overpaid somewhat in my opinion) him that he would be a rental. He didn’t do much to warrant even a one-year return.

      • steven says:

        Remember they also got Seattle to take Sprong and his salary. But didnt like the trade or resign. Thought the younger players would suffice on the 4th line rather than a washed up player for what has become a lame duck coach.

  11. Lance says:

    I’m happy Borgstrom made it through. He’s the only one of the 4 who impressed me in camp.

    Leason has potential and I hope he develops into a player. AJF does a lot of things well but wasn’t adding any offense.

    The forward group looks good. Goalies look good. The D still needs a guy with toughness and defensive play.

    • Marky says:

      Lance I agree with you. Glad for Johansen too. Leason and AJF are where offense go to die…Leason is slow still and was painful in the last game he played last year and AJF speed is not as nearly apparent as when he’s in the AHL so I won’t miss either really. To compare Leason and AJF to Bura, Vrana and Stephenson is not right. There’s a reason those players get paid 5 million plus because they are 20 goal scorers…Leason and AJF would be lucky to get close to 10 goals a year in the NHL.

      • Lance says:

        Hi Marky, I was wondering if Leason couldn’t be converted to a right Dman. He seems like an even keeled guy. Plays the same way every shift. Just wasn’t able to standout in DC. If he gets a regular shift in ANA who knows, maybe he’ll be a 15 goal guy. But if his skating isn’t good then his defensive play won’t be good so 15 goals isn’t a big help.

      • Anonymous says:

        Same things were said when those other guys left and then some team gave them a chance. AJF put up good numbers in the AHL his last two years. Improving each year. No reason be had to stay on 4th line forever. Just needs a chance. And the low contract cost and control would be huge with our cap problems.

  12. Even if they are depth pieces at the least, losing both is a tough pill to swallow for me. I by no means think they should have torn most of the roster down and just thrown the young bucks in, but certainly the likes of McMichael, Snively, Leason, and Protas deserved an opportunity to show themselves this season (hopefully the former two will give the coaches no choice but to play them). I understand the investment and belief in the veteran core, but at some point you just have to hand over the reins to the young guns and let them go. The biggest issue I had with McPhee at the end of his time in DC was how resistant he was to going out and making a splash while sticking by his existing roster; loyalty is certainly admirable, but at the same time if you want to win a Stanley Cup, you have to make some tough choices, personnel-wise. I have always liked the fact that MacLellan is more bold and forward in doing what he believes is improving the team, but the Caps have been out-skated by younger teams too many times in recent seasons and I feel that will show again if they don’t start truly letting the young guys get more ice time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Protas and Snively and apparently Mcmichael did show themselves this preseason which is why they made the opening night roster. I frankly would have sent Mcmichael down to hershey because he never stands out in any games and is terrible in the face off circle. We have three young guys who have made the roster this year. Do we need to get younger sure but guess what that will bring? A rebuild simple as that. You can’t expect to compete for a playoff spot by hoping your young guys all of a sudden take off and improve drastically. Sure they got out skated by younger teams last year but Leasson is a terrible skater so just being young doesn’t make you a faster team. He also had his chance to show what he could do in 36 games last year and only put up 7 points. AJF also had the opportunity to show what he could do last year and once again provided no offense. They are both bottom 6 forwards at best. Protas and Snively and Mcmichael can play up and down the line up I don’t know if you can same the same for Leasson or AJF. I am glad GMBM did what he did this offseason. Brown and Strome look like they will help this team and the goaltending has significantly improved. This team didn’t drastically change from last year and they put up 100 points with below average to average goaltending. This might be a make or break year and next season you might get your wish in seeing more “young” guys in the line up and if that happens I don’t see this team being competitive anytime soon if that happens. Look how long it took for them to be where they are at now and the past 12+ years.

  13. Jeremy says:

    Great, super, awesome, stupendous! (sarcasm)

  14. Anonymous says:

    I posted on this site many times to play CMC in Her at 1st C…. or if he is good enough, move Eller out and put his money on the blueline….

    If thats done, they keep Brett…

  15. Captain Phil Martin says:

    The owner has made it clear that as long as Ovie is a Washington Capital he wants to ensure we have a competitive playoff caliber team. The FA additions at center forward and in goal help to make that possible. All 3 of the young players retained are potential top 6 forwards. And this is the last seaso nor our current coach to show he can move the team past the 1st round of the playoffs. Those are all factors that go in to making sure the Capitals can continue to give Ovie a chance a winning another cup. They lack speed and are awful with FO’s but if the defence improves a little and our Goalies give us more shots at a few more wins this year then we should be better this year and with 3 young forwards and possibly Alex as out 3rd D when he recovers. We lost 2 potential bottom line forwards but we have some of those in Hershey and two top 6 forwards and 2 solid right shot blue liners plus perhaps a couple of solid goalies. The rebuild is coming but not until Ovie is in his final year in my opinion. If Oshie and the rest of the team stay away from injuries this could be a great year for the Caps. Wilson comes back jsut in time to jump start the team and a late season trade of Eller and possibly Orlov may get us some high draft picks. Next years defence will be younger and I suspect our third line will be to. CMC must improve his face offs but that is a learned skill. Those who do not see us in the playoffs this year or the next are not paying attention. This is one of the better GM’s in the NHL and we have Ovie, we should be happy to be Caps fans. Next season most of our D and a lot of forwards will need to be resigned and two key top 6 forwards will be in thier final year. I’m confident when the dust settles next year we will again be younger and competititve. We are very fortunate on several levels. And unlike last year we start with a top 6 second line. Last year all 3 of our starting second line forwards were injured most of the year(Backy, Oshie and Mantha) and next year we may see top 6 forwards Miroshnichenko and Lapierre. i like ot think the Capitals future is very promising. Lets go Caps!

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