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Five Capitals now playing in other leagues

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Five Capitals now playing in other leagues

The number of Capitals playing professionally in other leagues reached five over the weekend when forward Wojtek Wolski signed to play with Ciarko PBS Bank KH Sanok of the Polish League.

I am extremely excited that I'll be able to play in this country, Wolski told the teams Polish website. I decided not to play for the money. It's about maintaining the form and get a new experience.

Wolski, 26, was born in Zabrze, Poland in 1986 but left there with his family at the age of 3 and grew up in Toronto. He played for the Panthers, Rangers, Coyotes and Avalanche before signing a one-year, 600,000 contract with the Capitals over the summer.

I am very excited to performances in Poland, Wolski told the teams website. I'm worried only about their language. I also know very little about Sanok, I have to catch up. I also have to get used to skating rinks. Canada has the best in the world; I hope that Poland will be as well.

Other Capitals who have made the jump to professional leagues are Alex Ovechkin KHL, Michal Neuvirth Czech League, Brooks Laich Swiss League and Joey Crabb ECHL.

Ovechkin has six points in his first six games for Dynamo and Caps fans desperate to see him in action can do on Tuesday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2 and its online product ESPN3. The game between Dynamo and Lev will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. and re-broadcast at 8 p.m. Steve Levy and Barry Melrose are slated to call the game, in English of course.

Players are somewhat mixed on their feelings about their union members playing overseas. Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan told the Camden N.J. Courier-Post that he would not sign a contract to play elsewhere during the lockout.

I think it's important to stay here in the United States and be part of the solution, Ryan said, and not just run from it.

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2018 NHL Draft: Caps add 7 prospects, 4 from WHL

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 NHL Draft: Caps add 7 prospects, 4 from WHL

The Caps made seven selections in the 2018 Draft this weekend. The group featured three defensemen, three forwards and a goalie. Interestingly, a couple of the picks have fathers who enjoyed lengthy NHL careers.

Meet the newest prospects:

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.


2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.


3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.


4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.


6th round, 161st overall (from Vancouver): D Alex Kannok-Leipert, WHL, 5'11", 194 pounds

The Caps certainly saw something they liked in Kannok-Leipert as they traded up from 186 to get him. That pick, along with a sixth-round pick in 2019, went to Vancouver.


7th round, 217th overall: F Eric Florchuk, WHL, 6'2", 174 pounds

Florchuk was taken with the last pick of the draft.

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”

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