CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Cody Eakin
HtWt: 6-0, 190
Penalty minutes: 4
Average Ice Time: 9:16
Contract Status: 2 years remaining on 3-year, 1.91 million entry-level contract 637,778 cap hit in 2012-13
Strengths: Every conversation about Eakin begins and ends with speed and if he sticks as an NHL player it will be because hes learned how to utilize it. With just four goals in his first 30 games in the NHL Eakin showed he needed some work at the pro level and responded with 13 goals and 14 assists in 43 games with the AHL Hershey Bears.
Weaknesses: Eakin added some muscle last summer but has a tendency to get pushed around, especially in the defensive zone. Since turning pro he has not been able to show the offensive flare he exhibited in his last year of junior hockey when he led Swift Current with 47 goals and 91 points two years ago.
Memorable Moment on the ice: In just his second NHL game. Eakin recorded his first goal and first assist in a 5-1 rout over the Carolina Hurricanes. His goal came off a nice feed from Alex Semin on a 2-on-1. I dont think theres a better feeling than getting that one tonight, Eakin said. Im pretty happy right now. My time here so far has been memorable and Ill remember this.
Memorable Moment off the ice: After netting his first career goal Eakin was in the locker room answering questions from reporters when Alex Ovechkin swooped in from behind and smothered his face with a towel filled with blue gel shaving cream. My eyes are burning a little bit, said Eakin, who was wearing contact lenses at the time of Ovechkins ambush. They got me good. Eyes wide open.
2012-13 Expectations: The Capitals can go one of two ways with Eakin. They can give him a spot on the 2012-13 roster and hope he develops into a 15-20-goal scorer at the NHL level. Or they can include him in a trade package over the summer that nets them an offensive weapon up front or a hard-hitting defenseman on the back end.