The Capitals made another round of cuts on Tuesday morning, reassigning forwards Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson and Nathan Walker and defenseman Tyler Lewington to minor league Hershey.
It’s the second round of cuts in less than 24-hours for the Capitals, whose training camp roster now stands at 30 players with three preseason games left to play. After taking an off day Tuesday, the team returns to the ice Wednesday to face the Blues in Kansas City.
Trotz told reporters on Monday that he was eager to get his group down a more manageable number so that he could begin focusing on specific areas such as power play and penalty kill. Tortz also indicated that the injuries to Marcus Johansson (lower body) and Tom Wilson (upper body) could keep a couple of camp hopefuls around a bit longer.
“We want to get down, ideally, to one bigger group,” Trotz said. “You don’t want to make it too big because then you don’t get the reps that you need. …There are some guys that we’ll probably decide on, that we’re actually quite happy with, but we have to just go in that direction right now.”
Among the players who survived the most recent round of cuts are forwards Paul Carey, who scored the Capitals’ lone regulation goal in Monday’s 2-1 shootout win over St. Louis, Brad Malone, Zach Sanford, Zach Sill and Christian Thomas. Defensemen Aaron Ness and Jonas Siegenthaler and goaltender Joe Cannata also remain.
The roster now features 18 forwards, nine defenseman and three goalies left in camp. The Capitals must get down to 23 players by 5 p.m. Oct. 11. And with General Manager Brian MacLellan reiterating recently that the organization’s plan is to keep a 14th forward, to get to that number, that means one goalie, two defensemen and four forwards still must be cut.
The unofficial favorite to snag that last forward spot is probably Sanford, who has a goal in two preseason contests. After Monday’s game, Trotz had high praise for the Boston College product.
“I would say that I was thoroughly impressed with how he switched over [from center] to the wing,” Trotz said of the recent position change intended to find a spot for Sanford in Washington. “His wall play, his poise with the puck on the wall. He made a number of Joel Ward-type plays off the way. His puck poise in the small space and along the boards, I thought it was exceptional for just moving him over there.”
For the Capitals’ current roster, click here.
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