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Keeping up with the Metropolitans: Capitals Off-Season Edition

Full breakdown of the Capitals moves this off-season. Complete with links from Japers’ Rink and other NHL sources.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals - Game Seven Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Washington Capitals

55-19-8, 118 pts / 261GF(3rd)/177GA(1st)

Cap room (Per CapFriendly as of 8/14/17): $4.0 million - 17/23 NHL contracts

Brought in/back:

Moved on:

  • Kevin Shattenkirk - NYR, 4 yr / $26.6 mil
  • Marcus Johansson - Trade w/ NJD
  • Karl Alzner - MON, 5 yr / $23.125 mil
  • Justin Williams - CAR, 2 yr / $9 mil
  • Nate Schmidt - Expansion Draft
  • Daniel Winnik - UFA

Projected Line-up:


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Andre Burakovsky

Brett Connolly - Lars Eller- Tom Wilson

Nathan Walker - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

(Tyler Graovic - Travis Boyd - Riley Barber)


Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen

Christian Djoos - John Carlson

Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

(Taylor Chorney - Aaron Ness)


Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Dark Horse:

With the quality and quantity of players departing the Capitals this summer, it leaves the door open for some players to move up the team depth chart. The Capitals are lucky to have help come from within the organization. It seems like Jakub Vrana, Madison Bowey, and Christian Djoos are likely to be regulars for next years Capitals team. The Capitals lost Shattenkirk and Alzner to free agency, and those two were big minute eaters for the team. Marcus Johansson was moved for some cap relief, leaving his top-6 role now up for the taking as well. Those three players mentioned are the likeliest candidates for those minutes, and the jobs are theirs to lose.

Vrana was taken 13th overall in 2014 and put up 70 points in 85 AHL games the last 2 years - 35 goals and 35 assists. He also managed to play in 21 games with the Capitals last year, scoring 3 goals and 3 assists in his NHL debut. He could very well find himself in a top-6 role this year with Washington.

Christian Djoos is a left-handed, slender, 6 foot tall offensive defenseman who many think will make the team and play big minutes for the Capitals this year. I say slender because he’s usually listed somewhere around 160 lbs, but he’s Swedish and they know how to hockey at both ends of the ice. He put up nearly a point per game in the AHL last year with 13 goals and 45 assists in 66 games. That’s quite a leap from the 22 points he put up in his first full season in North America, in almost the same amount of games. He was taken 195th overall in 2012 by the Caps and just turned 23 so he better be ready for the NHL, because his time is now.

Madison Bowey is a right-handed, and more aggressive, defenseman that has a great opportunity to make the Capitals this season. He’ll turn 23 next spring and he put up some pretty gaudy numbers with Kelowna in the WHL, especially in the goals category. That scoring touch hasn’t transition into the AHL as much, but he’s still worth keeping an eye on. He’s looking to grab the #3RD position, which means he’s likely going to play with old friend guy Brooks Orpik.

All three of those players have been working their way through the ranks, and have looked pretty good in the process. The Capitals need them to succeed if they want to keep up the recent trend of having the best record in the regular season.

Too Early Expectations:

Despite losing a superb amount of talent, the Capitals still look to be a very good team next season. There’s still a lot of high end talent up front and the defense has a pretty solid and tested top-3 defense with an infusion of young defenseman ready to experience the next level of their careers. I haven’t even mentioned the best player on their team, Braden Holtby. Despite all the players gone, they have what is needed to make up for it.

The Caps have won 111 regular season games the last two sasons, so 50 wins feels almost expected of them now. That’s not easy to do. However, the Metro had three 50+ win teams last year, and the Rangers also finished with 48. It’s going to be another interesting year in the Metro next season, and the Capitals will try to remain in the thick of it.

It’s been a summer of change in D.C., but the same core group is still there. Will it be enough to finally change their legacy? Which brings us to tomorrow, when I will feature a certain back-to-back Stanley Cup CHAMPION!!


How many wins will the Capitals finish with?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    39 or less / miss the playoffs
    (41 votes)
  • 8%
    40-42 (W.C.)
    (64 votes)
  • 54%
    (414 votes)
  • 28%
    (215 votes)
  • 3%
    55+ (Last years total)
    (24 votes)
758 votes total Vote Now

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