For the third time in the past four years, the Washington Capitals have selected a Swedish-born player in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft.
Marcus Johansson became seventh Swede selected in the first round as the Capitals took him 24th overall on Friday night. The 5’11, 186 pound Left Winger has one full year of play in the Swedish Elite League under his belt with Farjestad, in which he picked up 10 points in 45 games played. While those numbers do not stand out, Johansson did register seven points in 15 international games with the Under-20 Swedish team.
The likely scenario for a guy like Johansson would be to play another year oversees and add a little to his smallish frame. It should be noted that Washington’s 2008 first round pick, Anton Gustafsson, spent this year playing in Sweden before recentley signing a 3-year entry level contract.
Here is the buzz on Marcus Johansson:
Johansson has impressive hockey sense, good technical skills and soft hands. He reads the play very well and is a skilled playmaker. Is also a speedy skater that does not shy away from the rough stuff, although he is not really a big time physical player. A team player with some leadership qualities. Has a shot he should use more often.
• As a member of Farjestad in 2008-09, Johansson recorded 10 points (5-5-10) in 45 games in the Swedish Elite League. He gained valuable experience as an 18-year-old, helping his club win the Swedish championship.
• As a member of Team Sweden at the 2009 World Junior Championships, he scored two goals (2-0-2) in six games, winning a silver medal. He also represented his country at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships (bronze) and the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament (gold).
• His uncle, Gunnar Johansson, played and coached Farjestad BK and his brother, Martin, also plays in the Swedish Elite League. Martin, born in 1987, played for Team Sweden at the 2007 World Junior Championships.
• He began skating before he was three, following in the footsteps of his older brother. Johansson’s biggest career influences are his father, for always pushing him and his brother for inspiring him to be better.
• His most memorable hockey moment was winning the Under-18 Swedish Championships with Farjestad’s BK in 2006-07.