Heading into training camp, the big question on Washington Capitals’ fans minds was when would RFA forward Marcus Johansson be re-signed and what would be the cost?
General Manager George McPhee made a solid move in his negotiations with Johansson’s camp, signing the 22 year old Swedish forward to a two year pact worth four million dollars. He’ll earn 1.825 million in the 2013-14 season and 2.175 million in the 2014-15 campaign.
In last year’s 2012-2013 lockout shortened season, Johansson registered six goals and 16 assists for 22 points in 34 games. He finished fifth on the team in power play goals with five along with averaging .65 points per game. Johansson held a 15% shooting percentage last season, but missed a sizeable portion of the regular season due to a concussion.
After returning from injury, the young Capitals forward went on to perform at almost a point per game average, compiling 20 points in the final 22 regular season contests. He played best when on Washington’s first forward line, alongside center Nicklas Backstrom and winger and Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin.
However, the Swedish native went quiet in the postseason, netting only one goal and one assist in Washington’s seven game first round series loss to the New York Rangers. He has 11 career postseason points in 30 games.
With Johansson signed for this season, the Capitals only have $665,705 left in cap space per Capgeek.com. Both defenseman Dmitry Orlov and 2012 first round forward pick Tom Wilson should have a chance to make the roster. Both potential additions to the roster would be followed with a demotion of a forward or defenseman.
Current Projected Forwards
Below is a current projected forward depth chart for the Capitals. Jay Beagle is the extra forward and Tom Wilson is a potential addition to the third or fourth line. On the blue line, Tomas Kundratek is the expected extra blue liner, but Orlov could make his case to stay in the NHL if he impresses at Capitals training camp and during the preseason.
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Marcus Johansson||Nicklas Backstrom||Alex Ovechkin|
|Martin Erat||Mikhail Grabovski||Troy Brouwer|
|Jason Chimera||Brooks Laich||Joel Ward|
|Aaron Volpatti||Mathieu Perreault||Eric Fehr|
Washington’s first preseason contest in against the Winnipeg Jets on September 14th. They play eight preseason games prior to their regular season opener on the road, against the Chicago Blackhawks in the national spotlight on Tuesday, October 1st at 8 p.m.
Matthew Speck covers the Washington Capitals organization for The Hockey Writers. He provides coverage of both Washington at the NHL level and prospect related content. Matthew also covers local sports for the Lebanon Daily News in Central Pennsylvania. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.