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McPhee on Marcus: 'Quick, Smart, Competitive, Good Hands'

(Jamie Squire - Getty Images)

A few quick notes about Caps first-round draft pick Marcus Johansson before I check out of the Bell Centre for the night:

*Johansson is the third Swedish center the Caps have taken in the past four drafts, joining Nicklas Backstrom (fourth overall, 2006) and Anton Gustafsson (21st, last year).

"If it ever works out where we have Backstrom and Gustafsson and this kid playing down the middle, that would be pretty darn good," GM George McPhee said.

*Johansson is a solid but not flashy two-way center who notched five goals and five assists for Swedish Elite League champion Farjestad. His point total was low, McPhee said, because he received limited ice time on the top team while skating against grown men. Just playing an entire season in the SEL, McPhee said, is an accomplishment for an 18-year-old.

*Johansson's also got strong bloodlines. His brother Martin played for Farjestad until recently being demoted (partly because of his younger brother's emergence). And Johansson's uncle, Gunnar Johansson, coached Farjestad and played for the team.

*McPhee's assessment of Marcus: "Very well-rounded player. Very good in almost every area of his game. Quick, smart, competitive, good hands."

McPhee added that Johansson's stock skyrocketed at the World Juniors, where he recorded two goals in six games. But it wasn't his offensive prowess that made him standout to McPhee. It was his feistiness.

"I loved the way he played against Canada in the World Junior final," McPhee said. "In the final, in a real hostile environment, 20,000 Canadian fans going crazy, some of the Swedish kids didn't show up. He showed up and played hard."

*Johansson has two years remaining on his contract with Farjestad. He said he intends to return to Sweden for at least one more year, but would be open to opting out of the second year of his contract and making the jump to North America the following year.

*Johansson has also had at least two concussions. But McPhee said his staff is not concerned.

"When you play hard and you play physical, you get your bell run every once in a while," McPhee said.

*Earlier in the evening, I mentioned that McPhee had spoken to Boston GM Peter Chiarelli. McPhee said the discussion was about swapping picks. The Bruins chose 25th.

That's it for now. I'll check in from the draft floor tomorrow.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 27, 2009; 12:40 AM ET
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Next: NHL Draft Day 2: Live Updates


When do we expect Anton to be over here again? Cite source please, unless Tarik wants to answer :)

Posted by: thiazzi | June 27, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

"McPhee said the asking price was one of the Caps' goalie prospects (Simeon Varlamov or Michal Neuvirth)"

Thank you GMGM!!!!! I would've went insane if they traded Neuvy (or Varly) away for Pronger!

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Anyone picked below 4th or 5th may be in 2010-2011 at the earliest. I would expect we wouldn't see Johnsonn until 2012 at the earliest. He's 18 now, anyway.

International Scouting Services: 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.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 27, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

If they were going to do it anyway, I'll bet philly wishes it had pulled off that trade at the deadline, instead of now.

And I, too, am glad GMGM didn't.

Posted by: Baildog | June 27, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Jay Bouwmeester to the Calgary Flames.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Caps take Defenseman Dmitry Orlov of Novokuznetsk, Russia. He's 6'0" tall, 197# as their round 2 pick.

Ditto on VERY glad that GMGM didn't trade for Pronger. No way he's worth all that!

Posted by: irockthered | June 27, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Interesting...Another offensive defenseman.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 27, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

no doubt the price for Pronger would have been too high, but him going to Philly sux!

Posted by: Max231 | June 27, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

If Brian Burke was waiting for Bouwmeester to get moved to move Kaberle thinking his price would be high based on what Anaheim gave up he's got to be a little upset. That's not a knock on Leopold, just that is a lot less than what Philly gave up. My guess is Jay Bo's agent was telling teams interested that he wouldn't sign there and limited Florida's options in the end.

Posted by: ThePat | June 27, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Bouwmeester's rights were traded, he's not under contract after June 30. Pronger stil has one season on his deal. Pronger is a proven NHL All Star. Bouwmeester is not. Thats why there is a difference.

Posted by: StikSav | June 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I understand the difference between the two. I am just saying Burke had to be hoping Bouwmeester would go for more so he could in turn get more for Kaberle.

Bouwmeester is still worth more than Leopold(who is also a UFA) and a 3rd rounder.

Posted by: ThePat | June 27, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

First Philly trades a 3rd round to the Florida just to be able to TALK to Bouwmeester and then give up 2 number 1's for Pronger. They will also have to get rid of Briere and others to make it under the Cap. I love it. Philly has just mortgaged a great deal of their future. They must think Pronger will get them a Cup now. I don't think so.

Posted by: chopin224 | June 29, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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