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Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals End of Season Evaluations - Forwards (A-B)

Washington CapitalsKeith Aucoin – 9 Games, 1 Goal-4 Assists-5 Points, -2 Rating

His brief spell in the NHL was a successful one, however the aging Aucoin has never really seemed to possess the quality to play regularly for the Capitals, despite leading the AHL in regular season scoring with 106 points. Aucoin will remain in the Capitals organisation next season, but will rarely see time in the NHL; he is disadvantaged by being too similar to the younger, more exciting Mathieu Perreault, but he could do a job for the team if called upon. Grade: C

Nicklas Backstrom – 82 Games, 33 Goals-68 Assists-101 Points, +37 Rating

The stats say most of it really. A fantastic season for Nick, setting career highs in goals, assists and points. The increase in goals was the main improvement in Backstrom’s game. He started shooting more when he had the chance to, and developed a great chemistry with Ovechkin and Knuble on the top line. He earned the 10-year, $6.7 million per year, contract extension this summer. The Swede is one of the best passers in the league, playing alongside the best goalscorer in the league, perfectly fulfilling the role he was brought to Washington to do. He is central to the Capitals’ future and at just 22, could still get better. Grade: A+

Jay Beagle – 7 Games, 1 Goal-1 Assist-2 Points, -1 Rating

It was only a brief spell with the Caps for Jay Beagle, who impressed in Hershey, but he will struggle to make the Caps roster in future years, with a number of centers having shown more quality in the NHL. Beagle seems to be a player who could be impressive in the AHL but only used when needed for the Capitals. Grade: C

Eric Belanger – 17 Games, 2 Goals-4 Assists-6 Points, +3 Rating

Belanger provided some experience down the stretch and, and although his stats were average, he filled the gap at third line center and quickly developed a good relationship with the team. Belanger should be back with the Caps next year, but with depth and some young talent potentially coming up from the Hershey Bears in his position next year, he may not be re-signed. Grade: B-

Chris Bourque – 1 Game, 0 Goals-0 Assists-0 Points, 0 Rating

Bourque is another who fails to perform at NHL level, no matter how good he is in the AHL. It was fantastic season for Hershey for Bourque, despite only being picked up off waivers from the Penguins about 20 games into the season, so he may remain in the organisation for a few years, but will only be used by the Caps as a depth player. Grade: C-

Matt Bradley – 77 Games, 10 Goals-14 Assists-24 Points, +6 Rating

Another solid season for Bradley, doing what he does best; defending his teammates and chipping away at the opposition. With a young team, veterans like Bradley will become essential to the Caps’ success. Grade: B+

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Discussion

2 comments for “Washington Capitals End of Season Evaluations - Forwards (A-B)”

  1. Backstrom’s contract is pretty scary, I agree his contributions are outstanding but who knows what’s going to happen during that 10 year contract. Does he have a no-trade clause in it?

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | June 20, 2010, 9:32 am
  2. Not until 2016, then the no-trade clause kicks in. A lot could happen, but the prospect of him and ovie for the next ten years is exciting for caps fans. one of him or semin was going to get a long-term deal and although it’s longer than expected, i’m very glad it’s backstrom

    Posted by colonelbagpussNo Gravatar | June 20, 2010, 9:46 am

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