The Minnesota Wild are suddenly must-see television after adding Kirill Kaprizov, arguably the most exciting player in franchise history. With a record of 18-10-1 it’s not just Kaprizov that should be drawing your attention though, the entire Wild roster seems energized and competitive. Today, they’ll get back another important piece, activating Marcus Johansson from injured reserve.
Johansson, 30, is on the second season of a two-year, $9MM contract signed with the Buffalo Sabres in 2019 but has been out for weeks with an upper-body injury. He has missed Minnesota’s last 16 games and has suited up just 11 times this season. Despite his regular season struggles the last two years, Johansson showed exactly what he was capable of with the Boston Bruins in the 2019 playoffs, routinely being one of the team’s best players and recording 11 points in 22 games.
It’s that postseason performance that should excite fans of the Wild, given how that wasn’t the only time Johansson has gone past the first round of the playoffs. That’s something Minnesota hasn’t accomplished since 2015 and the team hasn’t gone past the second round since 2003. If this team is to change that trend, they’ll need Johansson firing on all cylinders and making his $4.5MM cap hit a worthwhile investment. If he’s not playing up to that level, perhaps his expiring contract could be one shipped out to open up room for a different addition.