The New Jersey Devils will be without the services of Marcus Johansson for at least the next seven days. Johansson has been placed on injured reserve, while Stefan Noesen was activated today. It’s an upper-body injury for the Devils forward, suffered early last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Johansson has certainly not had an easy ride since being acquired by the Devils in the summer of 2017. Dealing with multiple injuries last year, the versatile forward played in just 29 regular season games and was limited to just 14 points. That’s easily the lowest total of his career, a number he had already surpassed this season with 15 points in 31 games. Any more offensive contribution will have to wait, though it’s not clear yet for how long.
The Devils haven’t been able to recreate the magic that took them all the way to the playoffs last season, but still have plenty of time to turn things around. If they don’t, and continue to fall towards the bottom of the standings, you can bet some changes might be in order at the trade deadline. One of those changes could very well be Johansson, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the year finishes. The 28-year old does have a modified no-trade clause, but it only blocks trades five teams. His salary might be the bigger impediment, as a cap hit of $4.58MM is more than some will be able to take on even at the advanced date.
New Jersey could obviously decide to keep Johansson and try to re-sign him, but with more young players coming through the pipeline and a Taylor Hall extension coming quickly he might find himself on the outside looking in. This injury certainly doesn’t help his cause, especially if he’s out for more than a few games.