January 1st was a big day for Caps fans. Not only was...
Little Space for Rookies in Washington
No offense, fellas, but don’t expect to be playing in the Verizon Center any time soon. (photo by Charlie Lehnertz)
Marcus Johansson was signed Saturday morning, which means one less spot on the Caps’ roster is open.
How does this affect the rookies practicing at camp this week at Kettler? Tom Wilson is the only player that has played with the Capitals, but that does not ensure him a spot on the roster. As of right now, he will probably play for his OHL team, the Plymouth Whalers for the start of the season, and may be called up at some point. Even still, Johansson and Wilson aren’t exactly interchangeable.
This begs the question – will a forward be traded and a rookie called up? Who would the Caps be willing to trade? In camp, the forwards do not appear to be ready to contribute just yet. Which veterans would be a trade chip? My best guess would be Jason Chimera because he is in the last year of his deal and it is very cap friendly at $1.75 million (according to capgeek.com). He could bring in a second or a third round draft pick in return.
Wilson is the only rookie that makes sense to be brought up to the Caps since no other player has even played in the AHL. As the season progresses, injuries can happen and rosters can change quickly. In the end, don’t look for many of the rookies to play with the Washington Capitals at the start of the season. The idea of any rookies making an impact on this team is a stretch.