What They're Saying About ...
Marcus Johansson, Washington's first choice (24th overall) in 2009 draft
First Round, 24th overall – Marcus Johansson, center, Farjestad. Born Oct. 6, 1990. 5-foot-11, 182 pounds, shoots left.
For the third time in the last four years, the Capitals have opted for a Swedish center with their first choice in the NHL Entry Draft. Marcus Johansson. Johansson is an 18-year-old kid who will turn 19 in October, and he spent most of last season playing with and against men for league champion Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League. He also played for Team Sweden in the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Johansson was the sixth of six Swedish players chosen in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Here’s what some of those who have seen a lot of Johansson have to say about him:
Central Scouting Bureau (ranked No. 8 among European skaters) Profile:
• As a member of Farjestad in 2008-09, Johansson recorded 10 points (5-5-10) in 45 games in the Swedish Elite League. He gained valuable experience as an 18-year-old, helping his club win the Swedish championship.
• As a member of Team Sweden at the 2009 World Junior Championships, he scored two goals (2-0-2) in six games, winning a silver medal. He also represented his country at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships (bronze) and the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament (gold).
• His uncle, Gunnar Johansson, played and coached Farjestad BK and his brother, Martin, also plays in the Swedish Elite League. Martin, born in 1987, played for Team Sweden at the 2007 World Junior Championships.
• He began skating before he was three, following in the footsteps of his older brother. Johansson’s biggest career influences are his father, for always pushing him and his brother for inspiring him to be better.
• His most memorable hockey moment was winning the Under-18 Swedish Championships with Farjestad’s BK in 2006-07.
News Article: Johansson doing just fine moving at his own pace
NHL Teams: Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Player: Henrik Zetterberg
Shootout Move: “Nothing special, depends on the goalie”
Movie: The Green Mile, American Gangster
TV Show: Friends
Video Game: Playstation 3, NHL ’08
Music Artist or Group: Akon, Lars Winnerback, Metallica
Pump-up Song: Metallica songs
Pre-game meal: Pasta and meatballs
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.”
Red Line Report (ranked No. 42) – “Smart, two-way playmaker has excellent passing touch and is very creative in the offensive zone. Competes hard and despite not having the greatest size he’s a very effective forechecker. Reads developing plays early. Poised and smart with the puck, showing both patience and creativity – can buy time for linemates to cut to open ice. Terrific vision and touches on his passes. Strong on the PP and takes control from the halfboards. Also has a sneaky little wrister and does his best work down low around the net, where he is both sneaky and opportunistic. Always seems to work his way to open ice and is always ready to shoot, pouncing out of nowhere on loose pucks and burying his chances. Intelligent and dependable – seldom out of position and can play shutdown role late in the game.
Projection: Two-way, 3rd line center for winning team.
Style compares to: Johan Davidson
ISS (ranked No. 93) – “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.”
The Hockey News (Ranked No. 30) – “Another promising Swedish player whose effectiveness at the WJC was limited by illness, Marcus Johansson remains a solid, if unspectacular prospect.
One of the reasons for that is Johansson spent this season playing for Farjestad, a veteran-laden team that won the league title. Johansson didn’t see a lot of ice time and had just 10 points in 45 games.
But that hasn’t dampened the spirits of scouts, who see Johansson as a sturdy prospect who will get better as he plays a more prominent role.
“People was to crucify these kids who are playing in Sweden when they don’t put up big numbers,” one scout said. “There should be more respect that these guys are playing with men in the best league outside the NHL.”
Like Jacob Josefson, Johansson is a responsible, two-way center who is very good in the faceoff circle.
“He’s not strong at any one thing,” a scout said. “He’s good at everything.”
NHL Translation: Two-way forward.
TSN (ranked No. 33)