After showing flashes of brilliance during the preseason, Zach Sanford was the surprise of training camp, earning a roster spot and a regular spot in the lineup with the Capitals. But after tallying a lone assist and a 48.88% corsi* in 19 NHL games, the former standout from Boston College was reassigned to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears on Wednesday.
The corresponding roster move was significant. The Caps finally called up talented 2014 first-round pick Jakub Vrana as well as veteran forward Paul Carey.
So far this season, Vrana has nine goals in 18 games with the Bears. He ranks third on the team with 16 points, trailing only Chris Bourque and Travis Boyd (17).
Vrana will likely take Sanford’s place in the lineup while Carey serves as insurance with TJ Oshie out with a shoulder injury.
More from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have recalled forwards Paul Carey and Jakub Vrana from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and have re-assigned Zach Sanford to Hershey, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Carey, 28, made his 2016-17 season debut with the Capitals on Nov. 20 against Columbus. The 6’1”, 198-pound forward appeared in four games with Washington last season and scored the game-tying goal in the third period on Feb. 6 at New Jersey, marking his first NHL goal. Carey was selected by Colorado in the fifth round, 135th overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft and has registered two points (1g, 1a) in 27 career NHL games with Colorado and Washington.
Carey registered 14 points (5g, 9a) in 16 games with the Hershey Bears this season and ranks tied for third on the team in assists and tied for fourth in points and goals. In addition, Carey has earned a point in 12 consecutive games (10/26-11/23: 4g, 8a), marking the longest point streak in the AHL this season. Carey earned 31 points (13g, 18a) in 44 games with the Hershey Bears (AHL) in 2015-16. He recorded five multi-point games last season, including a three-assist performance at Binghamton on Jan. 22. In addition, Carey scored each of Hershey’s goals in a 2-1 victory against Providence on March 11, including the game-winning goal in overtime. He has earned 141 points (60g, 81a) in 248 career AHL games with Lake Erie, Providence and Hershey.
Vrana, 20, has registered 16 points (9g, 7a) in 18 games with Hershey this season and ranks tied for third in the AHL in goals. In addition, he ranks tied for first among Bears skaters in goals, third in points and tied for fifth in assists this season. Vrana registered 34 points (16g, 18a) in 36 games as a rookie with Hershey in 2015-16 and ranked fourth among Bears skaters in power-play goals (5), tied for fifth in goals (16) and tied for sixth in points (34). The 6’0”, 195-pound forward tallied eight multi-point games last season and registered a five-game point streak (3g, 2a) from March 19-26, 2016. In addition, he ranked second on the team in points per game (0.94) after missing a majority of the regular season due to injury. Vrana recorded 14 points (8g, 6a) in 21 games with the Bears during the 2016 Calder Cup playoffs, ranking third in the AHL in goals (8) and second on the team in points (14). The Prague, Czech Republic, native was drafted by the Capitals in the first round, 13th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Sanford, 22, earned one assist in 19 games with the Capitals this season. The Salem, Mass., native made his NHL debut on Oct. 13 at Pittsburgh and earned his first NHL point with an assist on Oct. 30 at Calgary. Sanford was drafted by the Capitals in the second round, 61st overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Sanford registered 39 points (13g, 26a) in 41 games with Boston College (NCAA) in 2015-16. He led the team in assists, ranked third in points and fifth in goals as a sophomore. In addition, he ranked second on the team in plus/minus (27) and tallied 44 penalty minutes during the 2015-16 season. The 6’4”, 203-pound forward registered 63 points (22g, 43a) in 79 career games with Boston College.
* Sanford’s corsi score is 5v5 score and venue adjusted and via Natural Stat Trick.
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