A lengthy break early in Washington’s schedule is good news for Dmitrij Jaskin who will have plenty of time to prepare for what could be his first game as a Capital.
Washington’s last game was on Thursday and the Capitals do not play again until Wednesday when they host the Vegas Golden Knights. Based on Saturday’s practice, it certainly appears as if Jaskin could be making his debut in that game.
Saturday was Jaskin’s first full practice with the team. He skated on the left wing of the fourth line alongside Nic Dowd and Devante Smith-Pelly.
“He's a bigger guy that can move well, has some skill in some tight areas and it was good to watch him in a full up-tempo practice like we had [Saturday],” head coach Todd Reirden said. “[Sunday] will be a little bit more of the same with some more contact. Today was by design a high-pace practice and tomorrow will be a little bit more contact and I'd like to see him in those areas as well. That's where he's supposed to be at his best.”
Frustrated with his opportunities with the St. Louis Blues, Jaskin, 25, requested a trade. The Blues placed him on waivers where he was claimed Tuesday by the Capitals.
“I was waiting until 11 in St. Louis and I knew something was going to come up, some message,” Jaskin said. “I was really happy when they called me that I’m going to Washington. So I just packed my stuff and off I went.”
For Washington, Jaskin provides forward depth for a team that has suddenly lost a top-line winger in Tom Wilson to suspension and is without Travis Boyd who is on LTIR.
For Jaskin, the move to the Caps provides a fresh start.
“It just maybe wasn’t the style of play that I would want,” Jaskin said of St. Louis, “Or … I don’t know. I think I had enough opportunities in there, I wouldn’t say that I didn’t have. It took a while and it was always up and down. It was hard for some reason.”
Jaskin is primarily a shutdown forward, but does have some offensive upside to his game. He scored six goals and 17 points in 2017-18, but enjoyed a career year in 2014-15 with 13 goals and 18 points in just 54 games.
“Probably it will be the system and the stuff on the ice I’ll have to go through in the next few days to kind of switch my head to something different,” Jaskin said of the biggest challenge he faces in Washington. “It is what it is and I’m looking forward to it.”
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