As the regular season begins to draw nigh, day by day, the time has come to predict and begin to take a look at what the Caps and their fans can expect from each player on the roster. Today's player is sophomore center Marcus Johansson, who will begin his third season in the organization this fall.
Recap of Last Season: Johansson had several rough patches during his rookie season, and struggled, as all young players do, with consistency. He suited up for 69 games in total while tallying 13 goals and 14 assists; however, almost half of his production came in March when he really started to heat up. But despite his offensive inconsistencies, Johansson showed things that will be valuable to the team regardless: speed and willingness to play defense. For my full post-season analysis of Johansson's 2010-11, click here.
Expectations for this Season: Much will be expected of the young Swede this season, who will most likely be the primary #2 center for Bruce Boudreau's men. MoJo will need to play beyond his years both offensively and defensively in order for Washington to drive deep into the postseason and reach their ultimate goal. The question is not whether or not he has the skills, because he definitely does and he definitely can use them. The only question, once again, will be how fast he finds them and how consistently he can use them. For a more detailed take on expectations for MoJo this year, click here.
Playing Time: Second line; third line; power play unit B; secondary penalty killer. As I said above, Johansson should start the year as the second line center, but that plug could be pulled in favor of Brooks Laich if he starts poorly. I think that regardless of his even strength role, he will see a solid amount of time both a man up and down.
Projections: 79 GP, 15 G, 33 A, +12 rating, 17:19 ATOI.
The next season preview will feature defenseman Dennis Wideman.