Lucas Johansen has earned this opportunity

Lucas Johansen, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Lucas Johansen, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Next up on our Washington Capitals player predictions, we take a look at Lucas Johansen and what he can do now that he has finally made it to an opening night lineup in the NHL.

Johansen had an assist in his NHL debut against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on December 31, 2021. He appeared in two games last season at the NHL level and blocked three shots.

At the AHL level he spent a lot of time with the Hershey Bears. In the regular season he had one goal and six assists for seven points. In the playoffs he had two goals and four assists for six points in 20 games.

It’s never easy to predict how a defenseman will do but I could see Johansen recording four goals and seven assists for 11 points. He’s more of a defensive guy which is what the Caps need anyway.

Johansen was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft. It’s a long time coming for the kid and he’s earned the opportunity to make the opening night lineup which is exactly what he did. He found out the news on Monday morning after practice.

It took a while due to injury problems. It was some minor setbacks but it set the stage for a big comeback. In one of the Calder Cup Final games, Johansen made a game saving block that turned the course of the series in the Bears’ favor.

I feel like we can see a couple of those at the NHL level this season. At today’s practice in Easton, Maryland he skated on the second pair with Nick Jensen.

Hot. Beck Malenstyn will finally get a real taste of the NHL. light

Next up we have Alex Alexeyev, Connor McMichael, Dylan Strome, Nic Dowd, and Matthew Phillips left to predict. That’s one defenseman and three forwards left. We are in the homestretch.