Friday morning the Capitals announced that they have re-assigned forward Jakub Vrana back to their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears. Vrana has played 21 games with the Caps this year, most recently fitting on the third line with Brett Connolly and Lars Eller. In his latest call-up he notched two goals and an assist in nine games.
Vrana’s return to Hershey is a welcome one for the Bears. Hershey currently sits in 5th place in their division and tied in points with the Providence Bruins for the fourth and final playoff spot in their division. With three games in three nights, the Bears will need all the help they can get.
The move is also a possible sign that Andre Burakovsky could return to the Caps lineup soon after breaking his hand in a game on February 9. On February 28 the Capitals placed Burakovsky on long-term injured reserve. Burakovsky was eligible to return on March 9. He has been skating with the team since March 3, though did not travel on any of the recent road trips.
Burakovsky said after practice Tuesday morning that he had hoped for a return next week. If Burakovsky does not return Saturday night, it’s possible that defenseman Nate Schmidt could fill in as the extra forward.
More from the Caps:
The Washington Capitals have re-assigned Jakub Vrana to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Vrana, 21, recorded six points (3g, 3a) in 21 games with the Capitals this season. The Prague, Czech Republic, native made his NHL debut on Dec. 1 against the Islanders and scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 9 at Buffalo. Vrana tallied his first multi-point game with two assists on Dec. 13 against the Islanders. He was drafted by the Capitals in the first round, 13th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Vrana registered 26 points (14g, 12a) in 36 games with Hershey this season and ranks fifth on the team in goals. He 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). 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 has tallied 65 points (30g, 35a) in 75 career AHL games with Hershey.
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