As Capitals training camp begins in Arlington, here are the initial forward combinations and defensive pairs—plus a few observations about how Coach Barry Trotz has everyone lined up.
- The young defensemen the Caps want to get a good look at are all paired with veterans. Lucas Johansen is playing alongside John Carlson; Madison Bowey is with Dmitry Orlov; Christian Djoos is with Matt Niskanen; Connor Hobbs is with Brooks Orpik; and Jonas Siegenthaler is with Taylor Chorney. It's probably worth noting that Johansen opens in the vacant spot to the left of Carlson.
- The spotlight in the coming weeks will shine brightest on Jakub Vrana, who is starting on the best line. The 21-year-old winger is skating on the right side of Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky.
- Alex Chiasson, who is on a PTO, is being centered by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Again, you never want to read too much into camp lines on Day 1, but it appears they want to get a good look at the potential bottom-six winger.
Here are the groupings in their entirety:
Ovechkin – Eller – Marthinsen
O’Brien – Beagle – Peluso
Bau Hansen – Pilon – Oshie
Riat – Gustafsson – Gazley
Orpik – Hobbs
Djoos – Niskanen
Zaitsev – Williams
Burakovsky – Backstrom – Vrana
Smith-Pelly – Stephenson – Simpson, W.
Malenstyn – Sill – Wilson
Mitchell, M. – Simpson, M. – Elgestal
Orlov – Bowey
Siegenthaler – Chorney
Bindulis – Lewington
Albert – Kuznetsov – Chiasson
Walker – Graovac – Barber
Connolly – Boyd – Mitchell, G.
Baillargeon – McGauley – Bourque
Johansen – Carslon
Hughes – Ness
Jokipakka – Labrie
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