The Toronto Maple Leafs traded winger Andreas Johnsson to the New Jersey Devils for Joey Anderson.
After weeks of speculation, the Toronto Maple Leafs finally traded Andreas Johnsson. This move was strictly a salary-cap dump, as the team only received one player in return (fringe NHLer Joey Anderson), who’s currently a RFA.
Now that ‘Mango’ has been traded, the Leafs have $2.3M in cap-space. Depending on what happens during the negotiations of Ilya Mikheyev and Travis Dermott, that’s probably not going to be enough money to sign the both of them. Although both players made less than that combined last year, Mikheyev is heading to arbitration and anything could happen there.
Before the Leafs make their next move, you’d have to assume they’ll see how negotiations go with Dermott and Mikheyev and then they’ll make their decision accordingly. With limited cap-space, there’s still a possibility that team could move on from Pierre Engvall ($1.2M), Alex Kerfoot ($3.5M) and Freddie Andersen ($5M).
Back to Johnsson, though.
Johnsson Was A Huge Success for Leafs Organization
It’s going to be tough to see Johnsson leave. However, the Leafs should be praised for ‘Mango’ being in this situation to begin with.
The former 7th round pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft has defied the odds just to make it to the NHL. The fact that ‘Mango’ is an everyday player says so much about the Leafs organization.
After a successful stint in the Swedish Hockey League, Johnsson moved to the North American system in 2016 to develop with the Toronto Marlies and flourished right away. It took only 1.5 seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL) for Johnsson to graduate to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After being called up to the Leafs in the 2017-18 season, it was a blessing for the Toronto Marlies that the big-club got eliminated from the NHL Playoffs early. As one of a few players eligible to return to the AHL Playoffs (Travis Dermott also joined) that year, ‘Mango’ is a huge reason why the Marlies went onto win the Calder Cup.
Johnsson returned to the Marlies line-up in Game 5 (Best of Five Series) of the First Round against the Utica Comets and recorded three points (one goal, two assists), being the difference-maker in the Marlies moving onto Round Two. Johnsson boosted the team, as they won 10 straight playoff games until losing Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals.
Johnsson couldn’t be slowed down in the playoffs though, as he scored 24 points in 16 games, en-route to winning a Calder Cup MVP and Calder Cup championship.
His most success may have came in the AHL, but was still a good player with the Leafs, scoring 67 points (30 goals, 37 assists) in 125 games with Toronto. Johnsson’s great play rewarded with him a four-year $13.6M ($3.4M cap-hit) contract, but that contract ultimately was the reason why the team needed to trade him.
As much as you hate to see a player like ‘Mango’ leave, that type of contract on this team was too rich for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as they decided to upgrade their defense during Free Agency by signing T.J. Brodie to a four-year $20M contract.
Johnsson will be missed but his memories will always still with us. I will never forget the dominant performance he had during the 2018 AHL playoffs and am forever thankful for him getting me a Calder Cup ring. Best of luck in New Jersey, ‘Mango.’