Caps Offensive Projections for Upcoming Season: Right-Wings

Posted November 23, 2020

Oshie and Wilson (Caps Outsider)

After previewing possible left-wing projections, Caps Outsider takes a look at the right-wing position for next season. 

New head coach Peter Laviolette will be looking to see a re-energized offense this year. At right wing, the Capitals will once again see Tom WilsonT.J. Oshie and Richard Panik. With an open spot on the fourth line, potential suitors look to contribute to the 115 points (56g, 59a) managed by the three other right-wings during the previous season. 

Tom Wilson (Caps Outsider)

Tom Wilson (6’ 4”, 220 lbs, 26 years old)

Since being selected 16th overall by the Capitals in 2012, Wilson has continued to improve on the offensive end and quickly became popular among fans. 

Last season, Wilson managed 44 points (21g, 23a) which was a 9 point improvement from two seasons ago despite playing in ten fewer games. In fact, Wilson has increased his point total each season. 

Next season, Wilson will likely play a bigger role among the veterans on the offense. It will be key that Wilson again improves his offensive production all while keeping penalty minutes low. Despite playing fewer games, Wilson still managed to record under 100 penalty minutes for the first time in his career last season. 

Caps fans should expect Wilson to continue to be a versatile threat on the offensive side of the puck and contribute in important ways this season. With a chance to play over 70 games for the first time since the 2017-2018 season, Wilson can truly take advantage of every opportunity and extend his game to an even higher level. 

T.J. Oshie (Caps Outsider)

T. J Oshie (6’ 0”, 195 lbs, 33 years old)

Entering his sixth season with the Caps, Oshie looks to once again be a leader and one of the most impactful offensive weapons on the ice. 

Last season, Oshie notched 26 goals and 23 assists in a 69 game span for a total of 49 points. Even with fewer games played, Oshie’s numbers put him second in goal scoring (behind Ovechkin) and fifth in assists. It will be key that Oshie continues to create chances and assert himself as a strong force if the Caps look to revitalize the offense.

Caps fans have good reason to expect another big showing from Oshie as he will certainly play a large role in the offensive scheme for Laviolette’s men.

Richard Panik (Caps Outsider)

Richard Panik (6’ 2”, 202 lbs, 29 years old)

In his first season with the Caps, Panik captured 22 points (9g, 13a) in the 59 games he played. Entering his second season with the franchise, fans hope to see Panik bolster offensive production on the third line.

Panik has improved his goal scoring total each season which is a reason for Caps fans to be confident, especially since he will likely play more games and have the chance to make his presence felt. For a Caps team that needs depth, the twenty-nine year old has the potential to contribute offensively in pivotal minutes.

–Fourth Line Potential–

The Caps will be faced with some options when deciding who should fill the fourth line spot at right-wing. 

A possibility could be Garnet Hathaway who has right-wing experience with the Caps last season. Hathway played 66 games for a total of 16 points (9g, 7a) and will likely improve in his second season with the Caps. Despite this, Hathway also has the potential to fill the fourth line gap at left-wing. Hence, it is likely that the Caps may turn to Daniel Sprong to fill the spot.

Check out the preview of Hathaway in our article on left-wing projections.

Daniel Sprong (5’ 11”, 191 lbs, 23 years old)

After acquiring Sprong from the Anaheim Ducks this past February, the Capitals have since re-signed the twenty-three year old to a two-year contract. 

During the 2019-2020 season with AHL affiliate Hershey Bears, Sprong managed 33 points (12g, 21a) in 44 games. It is this play that gives Sprong the potential to fill in the fourth line spot while Hathaway moves to left-wing. 

While his stint with Anaheim last season was largely unproductive, Caps fans hope that Sprong can bring numbers similar to his 2018-2019 run with the Ducks in which he garnered 19 points (14g, 5a) through 47 games. While Sprong’s recent NHL numbers are relatively low, his recent success with the Hershey Bears along with the Caps decision to re-sign him are certainly reasons for fans to be confident about what he can bring to the team this upcoming season. 

Looking ahead, the Caps seem to be in good shape at the right-wing position. Veteran leaders Wilson and Oshie will surely generate a spark offensively and with more games expected to be played, look out for players like Panik, Hathway or Sprong to possibly break through and provide much needed assistance on the third and fourth lines.