The Boston Bruins have been in search of a top-six winger even after acquiring Charlie Coyle and have found their man in Marcus Johansson. The Athletic’s Joe McDonald was the first to report that the team had acquired Johansson from the New Jersey Devils. TSN’s Bob McKenzie adds that the return is a 2019 second-round pick and 2020 fourth-round pick. The Devils will also retain 40% of the impending UFA’s salary – approximately $1.833MM – so as to allow the Bruins room to allow room for bonuses in their year-end cap accounting.
The Bruins had been linked to nearly every major rental forward available at the deadline, but seemingly balked at the high prices. While Johansson isn’t exactly the right-shot goal-scoring forward that would have been the ideal fit, he will certainly help with the team’s lack of secondary scoring. While injury issues have limited Johansson’s offensive totals in New Jersey, his per-game production has been back at his regular career levels this season. His shooting percentage is also down, but could improve on a superior team. A creative offensive player, Johansson should add to Boston’s potent power play and could slot in on a line with David Krejci or the newly-acquired Coyle. Bruins GM Don Sweeney opted for the safe play at the deadline, but Johansson has the upside to fit in well in Boston (so long as he can put his past with Brad Marchand behind him).
Meanwhile, New Jersey GM Ray Shero deserves credit for the haul he has been able to bring in at the deadline for Brian Boyle, Ben Lovejoy, Keith Kinkaid, and now Johansson. The Devils picked up two seconds, a third, a fourth, and a fifth, as well as young defenseman Connor Carrick in exchange for expiring pieces that haven’t exactly been world-beaters this season. It’s been a nice deadline for New Jersey in an otherwise disappointing season.