What is the fair market value for Marcus Johansson?


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Now that development camp is over and Karl Alzer has been signed to a four-year contract extension worth $11.2 million, the Washington Capitals’ front office can turn its attention to its final restricted free agent not yet under contract: Marcus Johansson.

Johansson, a first-round pick (No. 24 overall) by Washington in 2009, shared most of his 2013 ice time with top-line forwards Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, finishing the season with six goals and 16 assists over 34 games. Those numbers, a career best in assists (0.47) and points per game (0.65), plus his deployment as a top-six forward will certainly warrant a raise from Johansson’s entry-level deal of $900,000 per year, but by how much?

The draft class of 2009 was top-heavy for forwards, with the Islanders’ John Tavares being taken first overall followed by Colorado’s Matt Duchene, Winnipeg’s Evander Kane and Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn all selected in the top five. Of the 13 forwards taken before Johansson in the first round that year, only Tavares, Duchene and Kane have played more NHL games and scored more points than Johansson. If we include the draft class of 2008, just nine of the 29 forwards selected in the first round have played more games and seven are under standard contracts (per CapGeek).

Entry Draft

Overall

Player

GP

PTS

2013-14 Cap Hit

2008

1

Steven Stamkos

373

386

$7,500,000

2009

1

John Tavares

291

249

$5,500,000

2009

3

Matt Duchene

266

193

$3,500,000

2009

4

Evander Kane

261

159

$5,250,000

2008

7

Colin Wilson

210

103

$2,000,000

2008

22

Jordan Eberle

195

156

$6,000,000

2008

26

Tyler Ennis

187

123

$2,812,500

2009

24

Marcus Johansson

183

95

RFA

At first glance Johansson doesn’t appear to be in the class of the top-five picks over those two years, but his on-ice production at even-strength is not too far off.

Johansson’s even-strength goals and points per 60 minutes over the seasons covering his entry-level deal are on par with Tavares ($5.5 million cap hit in 2013-14), Duchene ($3.5 million) and Wilson ($2 million). Had Johansson got as much time on the power play as those other three then perhaps his goal, assist and point totals look much different over that three-year span.

What about total statistical performance in the final year of their ELC? And while we are at it, lets add in three pending RFAs from Johansson’s draft class who also remain unsigned: Nazem Kadri from Toronto, Magnus Paajarvi from St. Louis and Chris Kreider from the New York Rangers.

Player

Final year of ELC

GP

PTS

TOI/gm

Contract after ELC

Tavares

2011-12

82

81

20:34

6 years/$33,000,000

Duchene

2011-12

58

28

16:17

2 years/$7,000,000

Wilson

2011-12

68

35

16:08

3 years/$6,000,000

Kadri

2012-13

48

44

16:03

???

Paajarvi

2012-13

42

16

14:08

???

Kreider

2012-13

23

3

10:07

???

Johansson

2012-13

34

22

16:35

???

Taken as an 82-game pace, Johansson likely outperforms both Duchene and Wilson in points while averaging the same time on ice per game. Of the three pending RFAs, only the Leaf’s Nazem Kadri outscored Johansson this past season. Plus, the Rangers signed Carl Hagelin (sixth-round pick of the 2007 draft) to a two-year, $4.5 million contract, pushing Johansson’s fair market value into the $2.5 to $3 million range for the 2013-14 season.

greenberg
Neil Greenberg, when he isn’t watching the games, analyzes advanced statistics in the NHL and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd. Follow him on Twitter: @ngreenberg.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.

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Katie Carrera · July 13, 2013