The Buffalo Sabres have signed left wing Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract.
The Sabres receive: A middle-six winger who became a reliable asset for the Bruins in their playoff run with 11 points (4g-7a) in 22 games on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen. He has been injury-riddled during the past two seasons, scoring just 44 points (18g-26a) and playing just 87 games.
The Sabres could use Johansson at either center or wing, as he has the versatility to move around the lineup. Johansson was used as a left wing by the Bruins; however, the Sabres already have Jeff Skinner, Jimmy Vesey, Victor Olofsson, and Conor Sheary that can all play the position. Johansson’s and Vesey’s acquisitions (Vesey Fantasy Take here) this offseason could keep Olofsson in the AHL for another season, where he was a point-per-game player (63 points in 66 games) in 2018-19.
Johansson was mainly a tweener between the first- and second-unit power play units in Boston during the playoffs, along with Jake DeBrusk. If the Sabres decide to use a 4F-1D PP1 unit next season (both Rasmus Ristolainen and Rasmus Dahlin were used on the first-unit power play in 2018-19), Johansson could make his way onto there in a best-case scenario. However, he’ll be battling for that spot with the likes of Vesey, Sheary, Kyle Okposo, and Casey Mittelstadt. So PP2 seems more likely.
As a result of Johansson’s departure, Heinen will be able to move over to his strong side (he’s a left-handed shot). Karson Kuhlman, Zach Senyshyn or Brett Ritchie (all right shots) all have the potential to move up to the Bruins’ third line.
Players this helps, in order:
Johansson (assuming he can move up to a second-line role)
Players this hurts, in order:
Fantasy owners are already discussing this signing in the Forum – give your take here!
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