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Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately

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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.

RELATED: HOW THE CAPS BEAT THE RED WINGS

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 www.hockeydb.com.

MORE CAPITALS: CHECK OUT THE LATEST 2018 NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS PROJECTION

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.”

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Capitals release 34-player roster for Phase 3 training camp

Capitals release 34-player roster for Phase 3 training camp

The Capitals released a 34-player training camp roster on Sunday for Phase 3 of the NHL's return to play plan. Training camp begins on Monday. The roster consists of 20 forwards, 10 defensemen and four goalies.

No notable names appear to be missing from the roster so presumably, no one has informed the team if they intend to opt-out of the postseason. The deadline to do so is 5 p.m. on Monday.

In addition to the regular NHL players, this roster includes a number of notable black aces: Forwards Shane Gersich, Philippe Maillet, Beck Malenstyn, Connor McMichael, Brian Pinho, Daniel Sprong, defensemen Alex Alexeyev, Martin Fehervary, Tyler Lewington and goalies Pheonix Copley and Vitek Vanecek.

RELATED: 7 THINGS TO WATCH THAT'LL TELL US IF THE CAPS ARE CUP CONTENDERS

For Phase 3, teams are limited to 30 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies. That number will have to be trimmed down to 28 skaters and 31 total players when the team departs for the hub city of Toronto.

The team has been divided into two squads for training camp with the first practice starting at 10:50 a.m. on Monday. All practices are closed to the public.

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Will another Steven Stamkos injury put him in jeopardy to play the Capitals?

Will another Steven Stamkos injury put him in jeopardy to play the Capitals?

Tampa Bay Lightning player Steven Stamkos is a superstar, but has not had great injury luck over the course of his career. Bad luck has sprung up again for the Lightning captain as he suffered a lower-body injury during the team's Phase 2 voluntary workouts and will be limited at the start of training camp.

General manager Julien BriseBois told reporters Saturday that Stamkos is expected to be ready for the return of the season.

"We don't have a specific timeline for when he will be a full participant in camp," BriseBois said. "But we expect he will be ready in time for games."

RELATED: 7 THINGS TO WATCH IN THE ROUND-ROBIN THAT WILL TELL US IF THE CAPS ARE CUP CONTENDERS

Tampa Bay will begin its postseason in a round robin tournament against the top seeds in the East. Their first game will be Aug. 3 against the Capitals.

Stamkos underwent core muscle surgery on March 2. The recovery timeline was six to eight weeks which he has clearly passed and it is believed this new injury is not related. Still, this will be a tough blow for Stamkos who will now have to be limited at the start of camp after missing the last seven games before the season was paused.

Washington was a perfect 3-0-0 against the Lightning this season. While Stamkos is expected to be ready for games, this is an injury the bears watching, especially if it drags further and further into camp.

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