ARLINGTON, V.A. — In their first move of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, the Washington Capitals brought back a familiar face, acquiring former forward and 2009 first-rounder Marcus Johansson from the Seattle Kraken.
In return, the Capitals sent Daniel Sprong, a 2022 fourth-rounder and a 2023 sixth-rounder to the Kraken. Seattle also retained 50 percent of Johansson’s $1.5 million
The reunion comes with the Capitals looking to finish strong down the stretch and hopefully make a deep playoff run. And ultimately, it’s a low-risk deal with the potential of a high reward, and a win for D.C.
There is no word yet on the return. This story is still developing.
Johansson played seven years in D.C., putting up a couple of 20-plus goal campaigns and also posting four consecutive 40-plus point seasons. In the final year of his deal, “JoJo” picked up a career-high 58 points.
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Since leaving the Capitals in 2017, Johansson has played for five different teams, including the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and the Kraken. He most recently inked a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Seattle over the offseason and has six goals and 17 assists through 51 games for the Kraken this season.
Though the Swede hasn’t been able to hit the same totals or find the consistency he had in D.C., he now has a chance to recapture that with his former club. He’s a familiar face in the dressing room and will also add a lot of versatility to that bottom-6. Johansson can play all three forward positions, and he also logs a lot of time on the power play. A couple of areas he can help with: zone entries and puck carrying, and playmaking on PP2.
This move gives Washington another depth forward and versatile option up front, and there’s little downside. He’s a good playmaker who can also shoot the puck and provide some speed and energy to the bottom-6. And with injuries proving to be an issue this season, having him as an option doesn’t hurt. And, if it doesn’t work out, he’s a UFA at the end of this season.
Overall, “JoJo” is a low-cost, low-risk acquisition that can surely provide a spark on and off the ice. Sprong had been unable to find consistency or secure a permanent spot in the lineup with D.C., so he will get a chance for more ice time and opportunity out west. It’s ultimately a win-win for both parties.