The Washington Capitals took steps forward on Monday at the 2022 trade deadline as they looked to ensure that they had proper forward depth ahead of a Stanley Cup playoff run. Many thought they would look to bring in goaltending but ultimately decided to stick with their current duo and focus on building up the bottom-six forward group. The first trade they made saw them reunite a familiar face in Marcus Johansson, but the second player they acquired later on from the Arizona Coyotes stands out.
The Washington Capitals and general manager Brian MacLellan could strike a deal with the Arizona Coyotes that brought the fourth-line forward Johan Larsson to the nation’s capital. Arizona agreed to retain 50 percent of his salary. In exchange for acquiring the forward, the Capitals sent a 2023 third-round pick to Arizona, which may seem steep, but after breaking down, Larsson’s defensive analytics is a fair price to pay for what he will bring to this team. The key takeaway from the trade is that no prospects were lost, and it was only a third-round pick that acquired a proven ten-year NHL veteran that will instantly help with a playoff run.
What Does Larsson Bring to the Caps?
Johan Larsson is a defense-first forward that will slide into Washington’s fourth line and instantly make them better, especially with Carl Hagelin on LTIR and Nic Dowd missing some time due to a lower-body issue. Larsson is also dealing with an injury as he recovers from a sports hernia surgery but will be good to go once he arrives in DC. The offensive upside is nonexistent as he has only scored double-digit goals once in his career, and that was during the 2015-2016 season. Another usefulness of having Larsson on the roster is that he can be versatile as he can play both center and wing, making him a key asset if injuries start popping up in the playoffs.