More breaking news from the Washington Capitals tonight.
After signing Evgeny Kuznetsov to a long-term contract on Sunday, the Capitals then traded Marcus Johansson to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a second-round pick (previously belonging to Florida) and third-round pick (previously belonging to Toronto) in the 2018 NHL Draft.
After signing Kuznetsov — eight years, $62.4 million — the Capitals were right up against the salary cap, with only about $4.65 million in space and still needing to get Andre Burakovsky, a restricted free agent, under contract for next season.
Trading the 26-year-old Johansson frees up about $4.583 million in cap space. He was entering the second year of his three-year, $13.75 million contract. It also takes a very productive player from that roster.
Johansson scored 24 goals and 58 points — both single-season career highs — in the 2016-17 campaign.
After acquiring Taylor Hall last summer, the Devils could still use the help offensively. They were ranked 28th in the league, with only 2.20 goals-for per game. Sliding up the order courtesy the draft lottery and selecting Nico Hischier first overall should also help remedy that.
The Devils are going to give him a chance to make the team right away in the fall.