Marcus Johansson
Marcus Johansson
29-Year-Old Left WingLW
Buffalo Sabres
2019 Fantasy Outlook
As the 2018-19 trade deadline approached, the Bruins acquired Johansson from New Jersey. When injuries prevented him from getting much regular-season momentum going, it looked like Johansson might go down as a forgettable rental. Instead, the 28-year-old got healthy and picked up the pace in the playoffs, tallying four goals and 11 points in 22 games. Johansson ended up being one of the Bruin's most effective players during the team's lengthy postseason run, an effort that put him in a position to cash in as an unrestricted free agent. Though there was mutual interest in finding a way to keep Johansson in Boston, the team's salary-cap situation precluded that. Instead, he signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Sabres. Johansson now figures to see top-six duties for Buffalo and has a great chance to eclipse his 2018-19 numbers in 2019-20, health permitting. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Sabres in July of 2019.
Picks up power-play assist
LWBuffalo Sabres
December 5, 2019
Johansson posted a power-play assist and two shots on goal in Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Flames.
Johansson entered the contest with no points in his last four games, and he nearly made it five before supplying an assist on Jack Eichel's third-period tally. Johansson has 11 points and 22 shots on goal through 22 appearances this season. The 29-year-old hasn't topped 40 points since leaving the Capitals after 2016-17, as injuries have limited his effectiveness in three straight campaigns.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Johansson's first season in New Jersey was a forgettable one. Not only did a flagrant elbow from Brad Marchand cost him significant playing time due to a concussion, but the Swede's former team in Washington also added insult to injury by finally winning the Stanley Cup after experiencing nothing but playoff disappointment in Johansson's seven years with the club. On the bright side, Johansson's healthy heading into his second season with the Devils and is expected to play on the second line and top power-play unit. The winger averaged a hair under 49 points over his final four campaigns in Washington, though he doesn't put the puck on net much with a career high shot total of just 138.
Johansson spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Capitals and had just signed a new contract last summer, but with the club looking to clear cap space ahead of the 2017-18 season, he got shipped off to New Jersey for a pair of 2018 draft picks. That seems like a light price for a winger coming off a career year in which he netted 24 goals, 58 points and a plus-25 rating -- all personal bests -- so it’s a good win for the Devils. He won't have the fortune of seeing time with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the power play anymore, but playing opposite Taylor Hall isn't a bad consolation prize, and the Devils have a pair of rising young centers in Pavel Zacha and Nico Hischier. Another season of 50-plus points seems quite achievable.
Johansson had a career season in 2014-15, delivering new bests in goals (20) and points (47) while developing into a solid two-way citizen. He even spent some time on the Caps’ top line with Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and on the top power-play unit, too. There’s room for him to continue to grow his game, but it won’t come on the top line. And the team’s newfound depth up front means he’ll be in a battle with Andre Burakovsky for the second-line left wing job. Burakovsky has higher upside and a better possession game, so Johansson may find himself on the third line. Training camp will tell the tale, so use caution on draft day.
Under previous coach Adam Oates, Johansson transitioned away from center to the left wing. Despite playing alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom for a significant portion of the season, Johansson only managed a modest eight goals and 44 assists. Given that he was still only 21 years old, there's no reason to think Johansson can't continue to grow. His role under the new coach is still unclear, and it is possible the team will again try to see if he can assume the role of second-line center. "Backstom-lite" in many aspects, Johansson's versatility should help him maintain a role on one of the team’s top scoring lines, but how he'll be used in the long haul remains unclear.
Johansson played in 34 of 48 games last season, despite being hobbled throughout the year by series of injuries. Still, he managed to rack up 22 points on 16 assists and six goals in those 34 games. Once healthy, Johansson closed out the regular season strong with three assists and a goal in the Cap's last six games. Johansson has real sleeper potential and could be a strong late-round pick up this season. At press time Johansson (a restricted free agent) remains unsigned. Monitor his contract situation closely.
Still a developing talent, Johansson is a playmaker as evidenced by the fact that 32 of his 46 points came via assists. Johansson averaged just shy of 17 minutes a game last year, good for third among Caps centers. The potential is there but he still remains behind Backstrom in the depth chart so his value is limited to start the season in standard leagues, but he's definitely worth remembering in keeper leagues. There is a chance for Johansson to start at wing on the second line so keep an eye on the Caps' roster as the season progresses; Johansson may just be a steal off the waiver wire or a valuable late-round pick.
Johansson came into camp last season with the hopes of making the roster, and did just that, while beating out some guys that were expected to make the roster. He had an up and down first season, but showed flashes of what made him an opening day starter. With free agent signings, it will be tough for him to crack the top six, so expect him to center the third line, but he may move up depending on his play.
Johansson can play both wing and center after a switch made while playing with Farjestads, a Swedish professional team, where he spent last season. He has impressed the Capitals enough to have them excited about his future. He is a solid two-way forward with a strong, accurate shot, but has a few concerns. He is a bit undersized and has had concussions in the past. He will compete for a spot on the roster at camp and has a decent shot to start the year in Washington
Johansson, the Capitals first-round selection in 2009 is a steady and unspectacular, two-way forward who is good at just about everything. His assets include his vision and intelligence, and scouts like how he runs the power play from the half boards. He makes very good decisions and will be a sturdy NHLer.
More Fantasy News
Back in action
LWBuffalo Sabres
November 27, 2019
Johansson (upper body) will rejoin the lineup for Wednesday's clash with Calgary, Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News reports.
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Absence to continue
LWBuffalo Sabres
Upper Body
November 24, 2019
Johansson (upper body) won't play in the next two games against Florida and Tampa Bay, respectively, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
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Still sidelined
LWBuffalo Sabres
Upper Body
November 21, 2019
Johansson (upper body) won't play Thursday against Boston, but he could join the Sabres on the road ahead of Sunday's matchup with Florida.
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Won't be activated Tuesday
LWBuffalo Sabres
Upper Body
November 18, 2019
Johansson (upper body) won't play in Tuesday's game against the Wild, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
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Placed on IR
LWBuffalo Sabres
Upper Body
November 15, 2019
Johansson (upper body) has been placed on injured reserve, per the NHL's official media site.
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