With the 28th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft the Washington Capitals selected Lucas Johansen from the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
About Lucas Johansen
It’s in the blood for Johansen – brother of Nashville’s Ryan Johansen – as he’ll get to come up in a very good organization. A solid two-way player, he’s faced criticism from some scouts about his commitment and lacklustre effort at times. But, that was the same type of criticisms made towards his brother.
Regardless, Johansen earned himself a first-round selections with his strong season with the WHL’s Rockets. He scored 49 points (10g-39a) in 69 regular season games and added eight points (2g-6a) in 18 playoff games.
Those numbers alone show that he’s a playmaking defenceman – a guy that can see the ice and find his teammates in open spots to give them top-notch scoring opportunities.
At six-foot-one, he does need to fill out a little bit to fit his frame, but he tends to stay away from the physical game so it’s not crucial. He’s your prototypical puck-moving defenceman and has a strong hockey IQ. To say he’s a talented blueliner is an understatement and he should add some significant skill to an already impressive Washington back end.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 25, 2016
Capitals: Building the Blue Line
John Carlson. Karl Alzner. Matt Niskanen. Brooks Orpik. And now, the Capitals can add Johansen to that list. That’s a pretty impressive blue line for a team that has the skill and scoring up front as well.
While Johansen won’t be an NHLer next season, he’ll find a way to develop into a strong top-two pairing defenceman for the Washington Capitals within the next couple years. The Capitals already have a lot of offensive help on their back end and getting a guy like Johansen only improves a team that was – at one time in 2015-16 – a favourite to win the Stanley Cup.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.