The ramifications of the Washington Capitals having little cap space continues. Shortly after the news of the team re-signing forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, the team announced they have traded forward Marcus Johansson to the New Jersey Devils for a second-round and third-round pick in 2018.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 3, 2017
The second-round pick is via the Florida Panthers, who traded the pick to New Jersey in a trade for Marc Savard. The third-round pick is via the Toronto Maple Leafs, who traded that selection for compensation for hiring Lou Lamoriello.
Johansson thrived last season, posting a career-high of 24 goals and 58 points. He was an integral part of the team’s core. It was his overtime goal in Game 6 that lifted the Capitals past the Maple Leafs in the first-round of this past Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Unfortunately, the team had to make drastic changes with not much cap space to work with. Johansson goes to the Devils with two more seasons left on his contract which will come with a cap hit of nearly $4.6 million.
Now Washington has just over $9.2 million of cap space. However, they have yet to sign their up-and-coming star Andre Burakovsky and goalie Philipp Grubauer. The team has 14 players signed to the roster after locking up Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, and Dmitry Orlov to new deals at the start of free agency.
The Capitals may have to make more drastic moves to clear more space in order to fill their roster.