Johansson embracing new challenge

Forward Marcus Johansson is ready to seize the opportunity as the hunter instead of the hunted in his first season with the New Jersey Devils.

Johansson was traded to the Devils from the Washington Capitals for two 2018 NHL Draft picks on July 2 after spending the past seven seasons in Washington and qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six of them.

The Capitals won the Presidents’ Trophy as the top team in the League in each of the past two seasons; the Devils have failed to qualify for the playoffs five straight seasons.

[RELATED: Johansson traded to Devils from Capitals] He set NHL career highs in goals (24), points (58) and plus/minus (plus-25) in 82 games for the Capitals last season at left wing on a line with center Evgeny Kuznetsov and right wing Justin Williams.

Johansson had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 13 playoff games for the Capitals, who were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Second Round in seven games by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In addition to Johansson, the Devils signed free agent center Brian Boyle to a two-year, $5.5 million contract on July 1, and selected center Nico Hischier with the No 1.