Now bigger, next year quicker: Caps prospect Lucas Johansen tries to strike a balance

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Lucas Johansen saw the signs.

The Washington Capitals prospect watched the NHL draft last weekend and noticed how many defensemen who look like him were picked. They were smaller and shiftier, and they reinforced Johansen’s view that the NHL is transforming into a league in which great skaters thrive. It forced him to reconsider his preparation because, a summer after trying to bulk up by eating two chicken breasts and a potato every two hours, he wondered whether getting bigger is still the right move.

“A lot of guys will train to get as strong as they can and then lose a little quickness putting on so much weight,” Johansen said Tuesday after the team’s development camp opened at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington. “I want to be strong and quick and lean and as heavy as I can get without losing that quickness.”