With the bye week over, it’s time for the Washington Capitals to get back to work and put themselves in the best position to compete for the Stanley Cup this spring.
To help accomplish that goal, the team has recalled young forwards Zach Sanford and Jakub Vrana from the AHL Hershey Bears according to NHL writer Stephen Whyno.
The two forwards practiced with the team Friday morning. Washington’s next game will be Saturday night at Detroit.
Sanford made his NHL debut earlier this season and has one goal with two points in 21 games. With the Bears in the AHL, he’s had more success scoring, posting 11 goals and 16 points in 25 contests.
Washington drafted Sanford in the second round of the 2013 NHL draft, but this is his first professional season. He played at Boston College each of the last two seasons.
Vrana has been in the AHL since 2014-15, but he made his NHL debut in December. He has one goal and three points in 12 games with the Capitals. At Hershey this season, Vrana has 13 goals and 25 points in 33 contests.
Since the start of the 2015-16 season, he has 37 goals and 73 points in 90 games at the AHL level, including the postseason. Vrana was the 13th overall pick of the 2014 NHL draft.
The Capitals have won eight of their last 10 and are 19-2-1 since Dec. 31. Washington has been so good in the last month and a half, it’s been hard to find a spot for the two young forwards. But if the Capitals could get them rolling at the NHL level too, Washington is going to be very, very difficult to beat.
Washington leads the NHL in points, but the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, have kept things interesting and trail the Capitals by five points. It will be interesting to see if Washington can continue its hot streak after having a week off.