The Washington Capitals have made the final cuts to their preseason roster in preparation for Wednesday night’s Home Opener against the Boston Bruins. Brett Leason, Henrik Borgstrom, Lucas Johansen, and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby have all been placed on waivers.
The news was announced by the Capitals on Sunday afternoon.
#Caps place the following players on waivers for purpose of loan to Hershey (AHL):
Forwards Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Henrik Borgstrom and Brett Leason and defenseman Lucas Johansen.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 9, 2022
With the cuts, Peter Laviolette and his staff will go with 14 forwards, seven defensemen, and two goaltenders on their final 23-man roster.
“I don’t take it lightly,” Laviolette said Sunday. “For a guy who was sent down every year, I understand exactly what they’re going through. Sometimes you don’t understand, but I do. The conversations are real and emotions are real. I understand that. Nowadays, for the most part, everybody works really hard to try and attain their goal. When you’re close, you can feel that. That’s real.”
If all four players make it through waivers without being claimed by another NHL team, they will head to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Hershey started their Training Camp under new head coach Todd Nelson last week.
Leason signed a two-year, one-way contract with the Capitals this past June after completing his entry-level contract and becoming a restricted free agent. The 23-year-old winger was a second-round pick of the Capitals in the 2019 NHL Draft and ended up playing in 36 games (3g, 3a) for the Caps in his rookie season last year.
Borgstrom signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Caps in July on the first day of NHL free agency. He scored seven points (4g, 3a) in 52 games last season for the Chicago Blackhawks, but was bought out by Chicago in the beginning stages of the offseason.
Johansen signed a two-year contract with the Caps in early July after making his NHL debut in the season prior. Johansen, the younger brother of the Predators’ Ryan Johansen, was the last player selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft to play an NHL game. The late-blooming defensemen was beat out in camp by free agent acquisition Erik Gustafsson and Matt Irwin.
Jonsson-Fjallby eventually stuck in DC last season after a weird, very short stint with the Buffalo Sabres. The Capitals re-claimed AJF and he tallied four points (2g, 2a) in 23 NHL games in 2021-22.
The four ended up on waivers after Aliaksei Protas, Joe Snively, and Connor McMichael all impressed the coaching staff enough to earn the Capitals’ final few NHL roster spots.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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