The Caps inked a couple of college free agents on Tuesday, signing defenseman Kris Bindulis and center Hampus Gustafsson to entry level contracts.
Bindulis agreed to a three-year deal, while Hampus’ pact is for two years.
Both players will report to Hershey on a tryout agreement for the remainder of this season.
The Caps have been aggressive so far in the college free agent market.
A week ago, the club signed Alaska-Anchorage forward Mason Mitchell to a two-year deal entry level deal.
Listed at 6 foot 3, 180-pounds, Bindulis had a goal and 11 assists in 28 games as a freshman for Lake Superior State this season.
Prior to Lake Superior State, Bindulis played for Aston of the North American Hockey League, where he served as the Rebels’ home captain and registered 10 goals and 36 assists in 57 games.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman called the 21-year-old Lativian “raw” but “talented.” Bindulis also participated in the Capitals development camp last year.
Gustafsson, meantime, amassed 15 goals and 11assists in 36 games for Merrimack College this season, leading the Warriors in goals and ranking second in points.
Listed at 6 foot 4, 205-pounds, the 23-year-old Swede is a nominee for the 2017 Hobey Baker Award and served as an alternate captain for Merrimack the last two seasons. In his four-year college career, he recorded 87 points (38 goals and 49 assists) in 146 career games.
The Caps will look to make it two wins in as many nights as they face the second leg of a back-to-back on Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche. Here are three bold predictions for the game.
1. Alex Ovechkin will remain the team’s goal scoring leader
Ovechkin currently leads the team with 33, one more than T.J. Oshie. He will maintain that lead Wednesday by scoring just as many or more than Oshie. Ovechkin has scored in five straight games against the Avalanche, but since I called for him to score in my predictions for Tuesday, I wanted to do something a little different.
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2. Dmitry Orlov will take a penalty
Orlov took his first penalty in 11 games on Tuesday. He will take another on Wednesday because the Avalanche are going to come after him. Colorado has had to watch that beautiful hip check Orlov delivered to Matt Duchene all season long and Duchene was not happy about it at the time. Yes, that was all the way back in October, but head coach Jared Bednar needs something to motivate his team to keep them playing down the stretch. They will go after Orlov, he will respond and it will result in Orlov spending some time in the box.
3. Nicklas Backstrom will have a multipoint night
Backstrom quietly has 11 points in his last five games. While everyone is watching Ovechkin and Oshie, Backstrom just keeps producing. Against the worst team in the NHL, a team that has allowed 30 goals in their past six games, Backstrom will clean up.
1. Washington will not trail after the first period – Correct
2. Alex Ovechkin will score – Correct three times over
3. Braden Holtby will limit Minnesota to two goals or less – Wrong
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Nearly every hat trick in hockey you see hats scatter the ice. Its an age-old tradition for the home fans to toss their favorite team's head garment far out into the game surface. Rarely, but not unheard of, fans on the road have the audacity to show their pride and toss their $20-$100 hat.
A majority of the time, fans do not (or are unable to) retrive their hat, but if you are a Washington Capitals fan in Minnesota you may be in luck.
Following the Capitals overtime win against the Wild, the Caps owner Ted Leonsis is offering to replace a hat for every Capitals fan that tossed one out onto the ice Tuesday night in Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center.
The hat tossing of course is courtesy of Ovechkin's hat trick against the Wild.
Last season, Leonsis offered the same deal for Capitals fans who were also in Minnesota for you guessed it, an Ovechkin hat trick.
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