Marcus Johansson named to Swedish Olympic team as injury replacement

Washington Capitals' Marcus Johansson, of Sweden, plays against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Marcus Johansson will make his first Olympic appearance in Sochi. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Updated 1: 30 p.m.: A fifth member of the Washington Capitals is bound for Sochi.

Marcus Johansson has been named to the Swedish Olympic team as an injury replacement and will take the place of Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin on Tre Kronor’s roster. It will be Johansson’s first Olympic appearance.

“It’s a great feeling, it’s awesome. It’s a dream coming true, playing in the Olympics for your country, it’s pretty awesome and I’m really excited,” Johansson said. “You feel proud and really excited to be able to experience the Olympics and have a chance to win the gold medal.”

Johansson, 23, is in his fourth NHL season and is steadily adding to his offensive totals again this year. In 58 games for the Capitals, Johansson has seven goals and 29 assists. He set up both of Troy Brouwer’s goals in a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets Thursday with savvy passes and is developing into a solid playmaker.

His addition is the second injury replacement in a week that Sweden, favored to be medal contenders in Sochi, has needed to make for ailing veterans. Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist was named as a replacement for Johan Franzen (concussion) and losing Sedin is another blow to the Swedish squad.

Sedin has been playing through a rib injury for much of the last month and was visibly in pain on the ice, prompting the Canucks to sit him out of their last two games before the break.

“I’m disappointed not to be physically able to represent my country at the Winter Olympic Games,” Sedin said in a statement. “This is a difficult decision but ultimately the best decision for me personally, Team Sweden, and the Vancouver Canucks.”

Johansson joins four other Capitals who will head to Sochi this weekend. Alex Ovechkin (Russia), Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden), John Carlson (United States) and Martin Erat (Czech Republic) will all represent their countries in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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