So none of the five guys mentioned were taken by us. But I guess they were on to something with thinking we’d get a Swede.
For the second year in a row, and third time the last four drafts, GMGM and his boys decided on a Swedish centerman. Say hej to Marcus Johansson.
He’s not too big, 5’11/189. This past season he was with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League at just 18 years old. According to the NHL European Scouting Service:
“Johansson has a good selection of shots with a quick precise wrist shot. His overall skill level and stickhandling give him room to move the puck and shoot. He is a player with good offensive instincts and fine understanding of his defensive duties. He can play both center and wing with a consistent hard working presence.”
International Scouting Services says:
Playmaking forward with great game sense and vision with the puck. Johansson has been an effective and consistent offensive threat for Sweden at both the U18 and U20 levels for the past couple of seasons. A shifty and technically skilled skater, Johansson has great hands and an excellent touch on the puck. Another young Swede with men’s league experience, he proved that he can be an effective point producer at the next level already, putting up 10 points in 45 games for Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League.
GMGM likes his feistiness and his two way play. While you can’t really judge a kid who you’ve never seen play, this really wasn’t what I was looking for for us. It seemed like quite a few boys were slidding down the drafting ranks from where people had projected them. That was the case for Jacob Josefson. I think they said he was one of, if not the best two-way player in this year’s draft. I was holding out hope that we could get him, but New Jersey snatched him up. After Josefson was taken, I wanted Carter Ashton, the big power forward from Saskatchewan who can skate and go to the net. We need some big guys, and he was definitely one. He could’ve eventually made a great right winger for Ovechkin and Backstrom on the first line. He got passed on by us, and that is how we landed another young Swedish center.
Nothing we can do now about the pick, but maybe we can move up and grab a kid in the second round who’s a big body (Zach Budish, maybe?).
Last thoughts, Tavares still seemed like a lock as number 1 despite what everone was saying. I definitely don’t think Duchene would’ve made it up to the first spot. Tavares, while he seems kind of dull, is a big name North American skater who’s going to put asses in seats. Hedman could probably do the same, but with the familiarity of Tavares, he could probably bring more people to games. I wish Hedman could have just been a Swedish kid flying under the radar, and maybe we could’ve grabbed him. The likelihood, though, at 24, would still be a low. He’s got a huge body, 6’5/212, so any team 1-23 who needed defensive help probably would’ve grabbed him even if there was no hype surrounding him. Too bad he couldn’t come to Washington. He would’ve looked got in red.
I’ll leave you with a few highlights of the newest Capitals: