A 'whirlwind' brought Cholowski to Capitals, will he prove he belongs?


It's been a crazy few months for Dennis Cholowski. On July 21, he was taken from the Detroit Red Wings, the team that drafted him in 2016, by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. After the preseason, he did not play in Seattle's first game and was placed on waivers Wednesday. He was claimed by the Capitals on Thursday and landed in Washington Friday.

"It's been a whirlwind for me that's for sure," Cholowski said Saturday after skating with his new teammates for the first time. "I haven't really moved as much as I have in the last few years so it's fun now you get to see a lot of different places and I'm excited to get going."

Now the process of adjusting to his new team begins. After taking part in Saturday's morning skate, he took warmups for Saturday's game despite not playing in order to get into the Washington game-day routine.

Related: What Capitals believe they are getting in Dennis Cholowski

Just when he may be suiting up for real, however, remains to be seen.

Cholowski said he does not know what the immediate plan for him in Washington is just yet. A player who split time between the NHL and AHL last season and was being waived by Seattle in order to go back to the AHL now seems slated to play at least a game for the Caps in the coming days. The goal now for Cholowski is to prove to Washington what he could not in Detroit or Seattle, that he is ready for a full-time NHL role.


Cholowski described himself as an offensive defenseman, but one who is trying to be a two-way player and improve in the defensive zone.

"The last few years has just kind of been boxing guys out, ending plays quickly in the d-zone. But you know I've worked pretty hard at that over the last couple of years and I'm excited to showcase it whenever I get a chance," Cholowski said.

Whatever he was in the past, he is certainly preparing like a player who is going to get a shot at the NHL level in Washington, which makes sense.

Since Cholowski was claimed off waivers by Washington, he did not technically clear waivers. To reassign him to Hershey would require placing him back on waivers, giving Seattle, and every other team, the chance to claim him.

The bottom line is that claiming Cholowski does not make sense unless you intend to see what he can do in the NHL.

When that time comes, Cholowski says he will be ready.

"Just be ready whenever I get a chance really, just be yourself," Cholowski said."I guess all you can really do whether it's whatever team it is and now it's here. I'm just going to play my game and just worry about what I'm doing."