The Washington Capitals are bringing up another utility forward in Axel Jonsson-Fjallby to help fill in for an injured Carl Hagelin.
Washington recalled Axel Jonsson-Fjallby from the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Friday. Meanwhile, the team re-assigned goaltender Zach Fucale to Hershey. Fucale backed up for Vitek Vanecek on Thursday with Ilya Samsonov injured.
Jonsson-Fjallby has played in 44 games for the Bears this season. He tied for second on the team in scoring with 16 goals and 18 assists. Meanwhile, he also plays a key role on the penalty kill and top-6 down in Hershey.
The 24-year-old made his NHL debut for the Capitals this season on Nov. 8 against the Buffalo Sabres. Jonsson-Fjallby has one assist through nine NHL games, and if he plays in 10 games, he will have to clear waivers before returning to Hershey.
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However, with Hagelin out and Joe Snively week-to-week, AJF could have quite a bit of an extended stay up in D.C., as his versatility and role on special teams may help him beat out Daniel Sprong for a spot in the lineup night after night, especially with Hagelin out. Hagelin suffered a “serious” eye injury at the end of Tuesday’s practice and underwent surgery. He is on the long-term injured reserve and will be out for an extended period of time.
“First, it’s really tough without Carl. Every guy is feeling it in there. He’s such an important part of our team in the room and on the ice, so we miss him. You take a guy like that out of the lineup and you’re going to feel it,” head coach Peter Laviolette noted. “It was nice to see the penalty kill step up the way it did against a real good power play. I thought we were really good through the neutral zone. As they tried to set up, I thought we had good pressure. We made good reads, we blocked a lot of shots out there tonight. So all the things that you need to do for a penalty kill to be successful, I thought it was really good.”
The 6-1, 189-pound winger can not only log ice time and play a strong two-way game, but he has outstanding speed and skating ability and can generate pressure on the forecheck.