Brian MacLellan is no stranger to making the Capitals stronger on the trade deadline. For this year’s trade deadline, he did what he had to do, without giving too many future assets for the future.
Though it would have been interesting to see a big name like a Brandon Hagel, Hampus Lindholm, or even a Lehkonen join the team. Maclellan did a great job today in making the Capitals stronger, while also preserving the future.
One move that the Capitals made was to bring home Marcus Johansson (Left Wing) from the Seattle Kraken. Johansson will also be at 50% retained salary.
In exchange for the Swede, the Capitals paid Daniel Sprong a fourth round pick (2024) and a sixth round pick (2026).
|Washington Capitals||Seattle Kraken|
|Marcus Johansson||Daniel Sprong|
|Fourth Round Pick (2024)|
|Sixth Round Pick (2026)|
Johansson was a former Washington Capitals, as he was originally drafted by Washington with the 24th overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft. The winger played seven years with the team, until he was traded after the 2017 playoff series to New Jersey.
Johansson was not part of the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup Run, but he was an important part of the team when he was playing in DC.
Since then, Johansson as struggled, and has yet to play a full 82 game season. But he does provide much needed offensive depth to the Capitals, especially because of how Hagelin is currently sidelined.
Where the Capitals can find value in Johansson is how he is able to play as a winger or a center, which can help with depth issues. Johansson can also bring some offense to the team as he currently has 23 points in 51 games for the Kraken.
Mojo also excels in transition play, zone entry, and passing, which are all assets that will be needed if Backstrom or Kuznetsov get hurt this coming post season.
In terms of the Capitals gave up, Daniel Sprong is younger than Johansson and the draft picks can potentially be flipped into larger future assets.
Sprong has also fallen out of favor with Capitals coach, as he has been scratched several times. Likely due to defensive issues.
The Dutch forward is also a UFA at the end of the season.
Though not a major move, or one in which brings a superstar to Washington MacLellan made the conscious decision to preserve future assets that will be needed as the team transitions into the rebuilding phase.
While also upgrading a piece of the roster that can make a difference in a playoff series.
Ultimately this low risk play can potentially turn into a decision we look back on with awe and excitement.