Injuries on the blue line have been a major factor for the Capitals this season. Heading into the year, it looked like the team’s third defensive pairing would be a cycle between Brooks Orpik, Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey. Injuries to Orpik and Djoos have now made Bowey a regular in the lineup and the de facto “veteran presence” on the third pair with rookie Jonas Siegenthaler.
But the injury to Djoos left an extra hole in the lineup forcing the team to make another recall and thus, Tyler Lewington is up with the big squad for the first time in his career.
“It's been cool so far,” Lewington told NBC Sports Washington on Monday. “First practice here today and it was nice to kind of run through the drills and just kind of see what the guys are like and how things are ran up here.”
Lewington is just the latest Hershey player to come to Washington and there are plenty of familiar faces of former Bears in the locker room with Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Bowey and Siegenthaler all with the team.
When asked if any of his former Bears and current Caps teammates had any advice for him, he said, “Just do your thing. They said the guys are so good here, it makes it easier on you. Try to relax and enjoy it. But it's definitely nice having guys that I've played with in Hershey before. It makes it a little more comforting.”
Lewington said he had not been told whether or not he would get a game during the call-up, but it seems unlikely. He is a physical presence who is not afraid to drop the gloves, but as a prospect he is a notch below players like Bowey and Siegenthaler and, as young players adjusting to the NHL themselves, it’s more important to keep them in to get as much playing time as possible.
Bowey and Siegenthaler have done well as a pair considering the circumstances, but having a young pair like that does put a strain on the rest of the blue line. John Carlson has played over 29 minutes in each of the Caps’ last two games. The team does not need to add in another rookie to the mix on the blue line.
Regardless of whether he gets into the lineup or not, however, Lewington seems to be enjoying every step of the process.
“They've got a lot of stars on this team so it's pretty cool,” he said. “You watch them on TV and a lot of these guys are the top players in the world so just to be around them and practice on the same ice is pretty cool.”
Other prospect notes
- Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen’s quest to get Norway into the World Junior Championship next year came up short as Norway finished third in the U20 World Championship Division I tournament. Roykas-Marthinsen scored two goals in five games. Germany won the tournament to clinch a spot in next year’s Junior Championship.
- Though he was previously listed on Switzerland’s roster for the Junior Championship, Tobias Geisser was officially loaned to the national team by the Caps on Monday.
- A report out of Ottawa says forward Kody Clark “will be very close to a comeback at the end of December.” Clark has not played for his OHL team, the Ottawa 67’s, since Nov. 28, a game in which he scored a goal and an assist and was named the game’s first star. He has been out with an elbow injury.
- Riley Sutter was named the first star of the game in Everett’s win over Seattle on Saturday. He scored two goals. In 36 games this season in the WHL, he has scored 13 goals and 24 assists.
- Chase Priskie’s incredible season continues. He leads all defensemen in goals (12) and points (21) and is tied for first in the nation in game-winning goals (5).
- Riley Barber played in his 200th professional game on Wednesday in Hershey’s loss to Lehigh Valley. He currently ranks second on the Bears with 19 points.
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