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.