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The 25 most important players for the Caps: No. 24 Chandler Stephenson

The 25 most important players for the Caps: No. 24 Chandler Stephenson

Every player on an NHL team plays a role. Some play bigger roles than others.

In the coming weeks, Jill Sorenson, Tarik El-Bashir and JJ Regan will rank the 25 most important players in the Caps’ organization, from least to most important, weighing factors such as past production, future potential and intangibles.

Today’s player: No. 24 Chandler Stephenson

Chandler Stephenson has all the tools to be an NHL player. He is a good skater, has good speed and at 6-0, 204 pounds, he certainly looks the part.

Now he just has to put it all together.

Stephenson, 23, has played in 13 NHL games with zero points to his name, but his performance in the playoffs with the Hershey Bears last season suggests he may be ready for the jump.

RELATED: Caps' Opponent Preview: Penguins once again stand in the way

While he has the tools, however, what Stephenson does not have is a clear spot in the lineup.

The Caps have two spots on the fourth line up for grabs, but Stephenson is only one player in a very crowded competition that includes players like Nathan Walker, Riley Barber, Devante Smith-Pelly, Anthony Peluso and Travis Boyd.

But in addition to all the tools Stephenson has in his arsenal, there are two other factors that will likely play in his favor. First, he is no longer waiver exempt. In previous years that may have hurt him.This year, however, given that he is largely seen as NHL ready, that could likely mean he stays on the NHL roster from the very start, giving him a leg up on other prospects whom the team can still send to the AHL without fear of losing them to waivers.

The second factor is Stephenson’s position. Though he can play wing, Stephenson is primarily a center. The Caps are stacked down the middle with Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle. Stephenson will be one of if not the team’s top choice as a replacement should one of those players goes down with an injury. Given the team’s remarkable run with health the past few seasons, chances are their luck will run out sooner rather than later.

Check out the full list of the Caps most important players as it comes out here and check out past player profiles below.

No. 25 Aaron Ness

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


The Capitals-Canadiens game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately


Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately

The Caps signed University of North Dakota forward Shane Gersich, a fifth round selection in 2014 and one of the organization’s top prospects, on Friday morning, the team announced.

Gersich, a left shot who is listed at 5-11, 175-pounds, has already joined the team in Montreal, where the Caps play the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

His contract, which begins this season, carries an average annual value of $925,000.

It’s unclear when Gersich will make his NHL debut, but it could happen at some point in the Caps’ final eight games before the playoffs.


NBC Sports Washington has been told that the primary objective for Gersich in the coming weeks is to get his first taste of the NHL by observing—and practicing alongside—his new teammates in Washington. If the opportunity to get him into the lineup presents itself, then it’s possible he’ll suit up.

The 21-year-old just completed his third season at UND. Here are Gersich’s numbers from junior and college, courtesy of


At UND, the smooth-skating and skilled Gersich also produced this memorable goal vs. Denver:

Gersich has been assigned jersey No. 63 in Washington, according to the Caps’ website.

The addition of Gersich and subsequent subtraction of Travis Boyd, who was reassigned to Hershey on Friday morning, leaves the Caps with 14 forwards on the roster.

“I think he did a great job at rookie camp,” Caps GM Brian MacLellan said of Gersich in July. “He was one of our best players, if not the best player, at camp. Really happy about the way he’s progressed and where we picked him. I think Ross Mahoney did a great job with that pick.”