MONTREAL – The Washington Capitals selected center Marcus Johansson
with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, held Friday evening at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Johansson, a 5’11”, 189-pound native of Landskrona, Sweden, is the third Swedish center that the Capitals have selected with their first pick in the draft in the last four years. Washington took Nicklas Backstrom
fourth overall in 2006 draft and last year selected Anton Gustafsson at No. 21.
The NHL European Scouting Service says, “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.”
Johansson played for Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League last year and recorded five goals and five assists in 45 games helping his team win the Swedish championship. He was also a member of Team Sweden at the 2009 World Junior Championship and tallied two goals in six games, as Sweden claimed the silver medal. Johansson also represented Sweden at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships (team won bronze medal) and the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament (team won gold medal).
Washington has now made 16 first-round picks in the last eight years. The Capitals enter Saturday’s proceedings – featuring rounds two through seven of the draft – with six selections: Nos. 55, 85, 115, 145, 175 and 205.
Visit the team’s website for Johansson’s interview after he was drafted and for vice president and general manager George McPhee’s comments about Johansson.