Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has been named to Team Sweden, thus becoming the fifth Capital to represent his home country at the 2014 Sochi Games. Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks was originally slated to play for Sweden, but an injury forced him to pull out and resulted in Johansson being added to the Swedish roster.
While the loss of Sedin is a blow to the Swedes, Johansson’s versatility as a winger and center is hardly a consolation prize. Johansson’s 36 points in 58 games are good for third among Capitals players. He will compete against fellow Caps Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, and Martin Erat–representing Russia, the USA, and the Czech Republic respectively.
Linemate Nicklas Backstrom was a lock to make the Swedish Olympic team and will be a key part of the team’s offense, although he probably won’t play alongside Johansson. With Sedin out, Backstrom will more than likely become the team’s no. 1 center.
Johansson isn’t the only Capital to make an Olympic team as a result of another player’s injury. Erat was named to the Czech team as a replacement for the St. Louis Blues’ injured Vladimir Sobotka. Injuries have also forced Steven Stamkos and Marian Gaborik to pull out of the Games, where they would have represented Canada and Slovakia, respectively.