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2023 NHL Free Agency

3 Free Agents With Ties To New Capitals Coach Spencer Carbery



Axel Jonsson-Fjallby

Taking over a team that missed the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons, new Washington Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery has quite the task in front of him.

With stalwarts like Alex Ovechkin, TJ Oshie and John Carlson, the team’s roster appears mostly set. But with the start of free agency looming, and a handful of openings on the depth chart, could some players with ties to the new head coach be on the team’s radar?

Carbery, 41, hasn’t had a long NHL coaching career, but his connections span further than the big leagues. Here’s a look at some of those connections scheduled to hit free agency on July 1.

Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, winger

Signing Jonsson-Fjallby would be a homecoming of sorts for the Swedish winger, who spent parts of four seasons in the Capitals organization. During that time, he spent parts of three seasons under the guidance of Carbery with the AHL’s Hershey Bears.

Jonsson-Fjallby saw his most successful season under Carbery in 2019-20, tallying 23 points in 61 games. Two seasons later, with Carbery then an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jonsson-Fjallby fully blossomed with 34 points in 44 games in Hershey. However, he couldn’t stick in Washington and was waived by the team twice in two years.

With the Winnipeg Jets last season, the 25-year-old tallied 14 points (six goals, eight assists) across 50 games. He’s not a gamebreaker, but as the Capitals refresh their bottom lines, a player already familiar with the organization and coaching staff could have an advantage, so long as the price is right.

Alex Kerfoot, center

The Capitals have plenty of questions at the center position, which makes bringing in Kerfoot — who played under Carbery in Toronto the last two seasons — an appealing option.

Kerfoot, 28, has been buried on the depth chart behind the likes of Auston Matthews and John Tavares since joining the Maple Leafs, but that hasn’t stopped him from turning in a respectable 134 points across four seasons. He has also impressed defensively, ranking second among the team’s forwards with 46 blocks last season.

Evolving Hockey projects a four-year contract for Kerfoot with an average annual value of $3.6 million. If the price is right for the Capitals, they could easily strengthen their center depth while, best-case scenario, Kerfoot grows his game out of the shadow of some of the league’s best.

David Kampf, center

Similar to Kerfoot, Kampf, 28, has been in Toronto for the entirety of Carbery’s stint on the coaching staff.

He doesn’t carry the defensive prowess as Kerfoot, for example, but Kampf’s 27 points last season finished narrowly behind Kerfoot’s offensive production.

Coming off a two-year, $1.5 million AAV contract, Kampf may be a low-priced option for down the depth chart, depending on how the bottom lines shake out.

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.