Grading the Marcus Johansson trade

Marcus Johansson, Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Johansson, Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals made two trades this afternoon in a crazy day across the league. They’ve made three so far this season. We’re going to grade each one.

Usually we do these in order but not this time. This Marcus Johansson trade is hot off the press and the first one of the day so we’ll do that one first. Tomorrow we’ll look at the other two.

What the Caps got in the Marcus Johansson deal to the Minnesota Wild was a third round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. We won’t really know until next year or not even that, maybe a few years time if the trade was worth it.

Will this third rounder even be playing in Alex Ovechkin’s final years or in the post Rock the Red era that we’re all dreading?

MoJo’s cap hit is $1.1 million per Cap Friendly. The Caps re signed him over the summer after trading for him in last years trade deadline with the Seattle Kraken. What Johansson brought to the Caps this season and will bring to the Wild is reliability, grit, toughness, and veteran leadership.

Johansson finished his time with the Caps this season with 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points. He played for the Wild during the 2021 COVID shortened season finishing with six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 36 games.

Johansson now joins a Wild team that sits at third place in the Central Division of the Western Conference looking to make serious noise this spring. Posting a 33-21-6 record with 72 points, the Wild are looking to capture their strong fan base with a deep run to the Stanley Cup which would be their first. Honestly if any Caps pre 2018 Cup run deserved to be on that team, my vote would be a toss up between Johansson and Karl Alzner.

light. Must Read. Capitals trade Erik Gustafsson to Maple Leafs for Rasmus Sandin

Grade B: Johansson had a strong season but as the Capitals were dealing with injury issues and beyond, it just simply had to be another UFA that GMBM decided to unload. It would’ve been hard to re-sign him anyway and this move now give the Caps eight picks in next year’s draft. One year from now we’ll be closer than ever to the end of the Ovechkin era and it’ll be an important draft coming up.