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Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals End of Season Evaluations - Defensemen (P-S)

Washington CapitalsTom Poti – 70 Games, 4 Goals-20 Assists-24 Points, +26 Rating

It was a stand-out season for Tom Poti this year. Although he didn’t shine through the first half of the season he was consistently solid, and he really improved his offensive play particularly later in the season, often stepping up to provide more attacking options for the puck-carrier. Poti brought a wealth of experience to a young defense later in the season and was excellent when playing with John Carlson later in the year, willing to step back and allow Carlson the freedom to go forward effectively. After he was made alternate captain in January, we really saw the best of Poti and he will be a quietly essential part of the team next season. Grade: A-

Jeff Schultz – 73 Games, 3 Goals-20 Assists-23 Points, +50 Rating

Another player who had an incredible season. Amidst worries that the Capitals were missing a top line d-man who could compliment Mike Green, Schultz produced consistently excellent performances, ending the season with the league lead in +/- and guaranteeing himself a place on the Caps roster next year. Sadly for Jeff, with Alzner and Carlson coming up from Hershey and GM George McPhee reportedly looking to bring in another top four defenseman, Schultz could find himself demoted to the third line next season. However, whatever role he takes, fans can be sure Schultz will impress again. Grade: A

Tyler Sloan – 40 Games, 2 Goals-4 Assists-6 Points, -1 Rating

Like many other d-men, young Sloan was in and out of the line-up, however didn’t see much ice time in the season and failed to show much quality. However, he will probably remain on the roster next year, as he can play both forward and defense – which he did this season – to provide some versatility. But he won’t receive much ice time and may find himself back with the Bears for a large part of the season. Grade: C-

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