The Capitals have a trio of promising young defensemen in their minor-league system in Dmitry Orlov Cameron Schilling and Tomas Kundratek. At least one of them should be on the opening night roster on Oct. 1 at Chicago. Washington has five defensemen on one-way NHL contracts. A sixth Steve Oleksy is not – though he played the final 28 games of last season and all seven in the Stanley Cup playoffs. But barring another roster move – a trade for a top-four left defenseman or a free-agent signing – the Caps must fill out their blueline with Orlov Schilling Kundratek or Nate Schmidt an undrafted college free agent. But Schmidt 22 has just eight games of AHL experience after leaving the University of Minnesota following last season and immediately joining the Hershey Bears. Orlov 22 played 60 games in the NHL with the Caps in 2011-12 and has another 80 games in the AHL under his belt. Kundratek played well at times last season when an opening-night injury to Jack Hillen called for his promotion from Hershey. At age 23 he already has 196 AHL games played and has appeared in 30 NHL games with Washington over two seasons. Schilling who also wasn’t drafted out of Miami University has played 86 games for the Bears over two seasons and one game for the Caps. He is also older than the other two turning 25 a week into the season.
Caps counting on young defensemen
CSN Washington | Aug 5