Forward T.J. Oshie knows who the Washington Capitals lost this offseason, but he believes they have the players to replace them. "We lost a lot of really, really good players, and I think we knew that was going to happen," Oshie said Monday. "Now we're going to need a lot of younger guys to fill in for a lot of different roles." Two of those younger guys are forwards Andre Burakovsky and Jakub Vrana. Burakovsky, 22, signed a two-year, $6 million contract (average annual value $3 million) on July 4 after he had 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 64 games last season and six points (three goals, three assists) in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Vrana, 21, had six points (three goals, three assists) in 21 games with the Capitals last season, and 36 points (19 goals, 17 assists) in 49 games with Hershey of the American Hockey League. "I'm looking for everyone to take that next step," Oshie said. "It's not one or two guys; we need everyone to get on board and to find that next level. From our star players to our support players and to the guys that play the dirty minutes, we need everyone." The Capitals won the Presidents' Trophy in back-to-back seasons but were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each time. This offseason, Washington lost forwards Justin Williams (Carolina Hurricanes) and Marcus Johansson (New Jersey Devils), and defensemen Karl Alzner (Montreal Canadiens), Kevin Shattenkirk (New York Rangers) and Nate Schmidt (Vegas Golden Knights), in part to stay below the NHL salary cap.
Oshie says young Capitals must emerge this season
NHL.com | Aug 23