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Johansson Set to Return

Dec 22, 2017

The New Jersey Devils announced today that off-season acquisition Marcus Johansson has been cleared to play and has been activated from IR. Johansson is set to return to the lineup tonight against the New York Rangers. Johansson is a nice piece to have back, but the Devils have gotten along fine without him, somehow still blazing through the 2017-18 season making a case for the top team in the Metropolitan Division.

Johansson, 27, was acquired from the division rival Washington Capitals this summer for second-round and third-round picks in the 2018 NHL Draft. More of a cap dump by Washington than a fair deal, Johansson was nevertheless expected to help turn things around in New Jersey this season. While that goal has certainly been accomplished, and far beyond expectations in terms of both time and ability, it has been done largely without Johansson. A slew of injuries – lower-body, concussion, bruised ankle – has limited Johansson to just 15 games with his new team. However, his return will still be a boost to the red-hot Devils. A five-time 40+ point scorer coming off a career-high 58-point campaign, the Swedish forward’s offensive talent is undeniable.

When Johansson was traded by the Capitals, I felt it was a huge loss for the Caps.  Johansson isn’t anything special, but he was one of those players that did a ton for his team.  We’ll see, if he can stay healthy long enough, if that untouchable came along with him to the New Jersey Devils.  Even with his missed games, I would pin him down for about 16 goals by season’s end, and that, to me, is the threshold for an ideal “secondary scoring” winger.  He will likely slot right onto the second powerplay unit and begin producing before too long.  Good news for New Jersey, to be sure!!



Devils lock up RFA Severson

NEWARK, N.J. — Being a restricted free agent without arbitration rights, defenseman Damon Severson was hoping to get contract from the New Jersey Devils that would carry him over for a couple of years.

The Devils instead gave Severson, 23, a vote of confidence, signing him to a six-year, $25 million contract that will keep him with the team through the 2022-23 season.

“Damon brings an important dimension to our hockey club and he is a young defenseman that we are excited to work with,” general manager Ray Shero said Monday in announcing the deal that gets Severson signed in time for the opening of training camp this week. “This deal shows our ownership’s commitment in what we continue to build here.”

Severson will earn $2.5 million this season and his salary will escalate to $5.1 million in the final year of the contract. He set career highs with 28 assists and 31 points in 80 regular-season games last season, leading all New Jersey defensemen in assists and points.

It is expected that Severson will get a chance to pair with Andy Greene on the Devils’ top defensive unit.

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