If Kings miss playoffs this year, the pick goes to 2013. If Kings make the playoffs this year, the Jackets can choose to make the pick for either the 2012 or 2013 draft.
Carter will be reunited with ex-Philadelphia teammate Mike Richards in Los Angeles. The Flyers traded Carter to Columbus and Richards to Los Angeles in June ahead of the NHL draft.
Carter is in the first year of an 11-year, $58-million contract. His no-trade clause does not kick in until July.
The center was shocked when he found out about being traded to Columbus and never lived up to the expectations the Blue Jackets had for him. Carter has 15 goals and 25 points through 39 games and has missed 20 games due to a broken foot and a separated shoulder. The Jackets have the worst record in the NHL.
Carter is expected to supply some offense for the goal-starved Kings, who started Thursday night holding the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Johnson, a 25-year-old former University of Michigan star, has eight goals and 16 assists this season -- his fifth in the NHL, all with the Kings.