Washington Capitals trade down to draft Brent Johnson

NHL Draft, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NHL Draft, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals made a trade with the New York Rangers but it didn’t involve who you think it would have. Nope! Evgeny Kuznetsov is still here for now. The Caps traded their 75th pick to the Rangers for their 80th (five spots down) and sixth rounder (176th). With the 80th pick, they selected defenseman Brent Johnson.

Johnson is the second right handed defenseman the Caps drafted today. He is committed to the University of North Dakota. Last season he played in 47 games for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL and recorded 32 points with 11 goals and 21 assists.

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Here’s what Elite Prospects had to say about Johnson: 

"Without the puck, he’s always filling space, getting as deep in the zone as possible without letting his man slip behind him. He sneaks down the weak side. The transition deception translates to his playmaking, where he takes passes into a shooting stance, then immediately passes to a more dangerously positioned teammate. Simply put, Johnson wants to be a difference-maker — that mentality is tough to teach."

Additionally, Johnson was a +15 last season with 42 penalty minutes. The St. Louis native ranked first among the Stampede in points among defensemen, fifth among USHL defensemen, and second among rookie USHL defensemen. The 18 year old was named to the USHL’s All Rookie Team and the Second All Star Team this past season.

Be sure to look out for the explosive defenseman following the footsteps of Shane Gersich next season for perhaps the next four years. The Caps next draft pick will come in the fourth round at 119th overall unless another trade happens.

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Johnson also spent time Dallas, Texas and is known for both his playmaking ability and play without the puck. The Caps will be back on the clock soon and we’ll find out if they continue the trend of drafting defensemen.