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Where is the best place for Johansson to pull into the 2022-23 capital?

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The Washington Capitals made quite a few changes this offseason, adding a number of new forwards, revamping their goaltending and strengthening their blue line. However, it also had several names on board, including Marcus Johansson.

Johansson, who began his career with the Capitals as a first-round pick in 2009, left the team in 2017 in a trade. The 31-year-old has lived up to the expectations placed on him, primarily being put in as his forward defensively.

“We wanted a really stable 200-foot game and he delivered that,” LaViolette said of the 90.

When he returns on a one-year, $1.1 million deal, there are some questions about where he’ll be coming in, especially given the influx of forwards. Dylan Ström and Conor Brown join the mix, with Henrik Borgstrom as an additional option. All the while, Conor McMichael is looking to expand his role on the forward line. Additionally, Tom Wilson will be joining again in December and Nicklas Backstrom will also be playing in his 2022-23 season. Karl Hagelin’s status is still unknown, but his future will become more clear as he undergoes another assessment in the coming weeks.

Still, despite the prior surplus, Washington sees Johansson as a key piece of the puzzle.

“We moved him,” McClellan continued. “I played left wing, right wing, top six, bottom six. With uncertainty. [surrounding] Karl Hagelin, we thought we needed another seasoned guy to use. He is a versatile man and everyone knows him well. The coaches liked him and liked what he did last year, so they decided to bring him back. “

Read more on WHN: Why the Washington Capitals recalled Marcus Johansson

Looking at the current line-up, it looks like Capitals’ top six are pretty much settled. Brown will likely get a chance to show what he can do in the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, and from the looks of it, Dylan Strom will lead the second line alongside Anthony Mantha and TJ Osier. .

Johansson could contend for a top six role on the wing and needed to play a lot of time in 2LW to close out last season, but the bottom six might suit him best.

The Swede is a versatile player who can shoot left and play in center or on either wing. He’s likely to stay in the winger role, especially given the intense rivalry between Conor McMichael and Lars Eller.

Ultimately, looking at the options, there is one area where he fits best. To the left of Hegelin Spot, alongside Nick Dowd and Garnet Hathaway.

The 4th line is strong and one of the best features in the league. Aggressive in the forecheck, physical and reliable in the defensive zone, and in the neutral zone you can win pack battles and make a big impact.

RELATED: Nick Dowd, Garnet Hathaway Reflect on Friendship, Journey with Washington Capitals

That’s what Johansson does best. He takes great care of the puck and has a great possession stat.

After returning from Kraken at the March 21 deadline, Johansson led all forwards for at least 15 GPs in 5-5 Corsifor percentage (53.56) and ranked third in all strengths (57.23), Only Ovechkin and Mansa followed. He also had the fewest shots of any forward (117).

The forward line with Johansson in place looks like this:

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Connor Brown

Anthony Mantha-Dylan Strome-TJ Oshie

Conor McMichael = Lars Eller = Connor Sheary

Marcus Johansson – Nick Dowd – Garnet Hathaway

However, there is another option. If Mantha is not successful in the top 6 role, he could shift and Eller or Connor, his two players who have meshed well with Dowd and Hathaway in the past, could see Sheary enter his 4LW. there is. That way Johansson will be back in the top 6, McMichael will be his 3C and Mantha will shift to his 3LW.

Ultimately, though, starting Johansson in a new role in the bottom 6 might be the right choice, especially given his two-way prowess and focus on defense over top 6 production. not.

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