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Can the Kid Capitals Help Carry the Defense?

July 28th, 2017 at 9:51 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

This off-season the Washington Capitals lost a number of their players to free agency and the trade market. However, no area of the team suffered more than their blue line.

The Capitals lost long-time defenseman Karl Alzner and puck-mover Kevin Shattenkirk to free agency¬†and lost one of their most promising blueliners in Nate Schmidt to the expansion draft. Not only that, but the team is in a battle with the salary cap and can’t afford to pay for players to replace them.

Nate Schmidt was one of Washington’s biggest losses on defense this offseason. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

While they still have their core defensemen in John Carlson, Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov, they lack the depth they had last year. Brooks Orpik could make a running for the top four. Though the veteran didn’t have the worst 2016-17 campaign, one can only wonder how much gas is left in the tank as he had his share of struggles on the ice. Taylor Chorney is still with the team, but the 30-year-old is not necessarily a standout talent who can take on a bigger role.

With a lack of depth on their main roster, as well as limited funds, the Capitals will have to rely on their slew of young prospects to step up and fill the voids on defense.

New Kids on the Block

From up-and-coming AHL blueliners to promising WHL defensemen, the Capitals have options when it comes to entrusting their defense corps with young players from within the organization.

First off, Washington has built impressive organizational depth thanks to wise draft decisions over the years. Some of their blueliners in the system have not only been developing their game for years but have grown accustomed to the Capitals organization and know what to expect as they prepare for NHL-level hockey.

In addition, the defensemen on Washington’s roster are experienced NHLers who can help mentor the younger prospects coming in, and could benefit from having young players on their pairings.

However, with a lot of youth coming in, can the kids carry the Capitals’¬†defense?

Capitals Candidates for Roster Spots

One player that is catching the eye of the organization is Hershey Bears defender Christian Djoos. …

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Tags: Christian Djoos, Connor Hobbs, Lucas Johansen, Madison Bowey, Top Story, Washington Capitals

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