Could Capitals Bring Back Axel Jonsson-Fjallby? Jets Winger Hits Waivers
The Washington Capitals saw a familiar face hit the waiver wire on Monday, as the Winnipeg Jets waived Axel Jonsson-Fjallby in order to activate defenseman Dylan DeMelo. Could they bring him back?
The Washington Capitals saw a familiar face hit the waiver wire on Monday, as the Winnipeg Jets waived winger Axel Jonsson-Fjallby in order to activate defenseman Dylan DeMelo.
Head coach Rick Bowness announced the move, adding that it wasn't an easy choice.
"It's a decision we did not want to have to make," Bowness told reporters. "Selfishly, we don't want to lose him."
Winnipeg claimed Jonsson-Fjallby back on Oct. 10 from the Capitals, who waived him and Brett Leason with the team trimming the roster to 23 skaters before the start of the season. AJF was among the final cuts after Aliaksei Protas beat him and Leason out for a spot in camp.
Through 45 games with the Jets, the 25-year-old has four goals and seven assists, along with a +/- of minus-3. He averages 10:26 minutes per game and is also utilized on the penalty kill, averaging about 53 seconds of shorthanded ice time per night. He has also impressed in his development, showcasing his speed, strong skating ability and versatility.
READ MORE ON WHN: What Super Bowl Sunday Loss Means For Capitals Trade Plans
If Washington re-claimed him, the team would be able to send him straight to the Hershey Bears, which had been the intention back in October. However, at this point in time, it remains a question as to whether or not he will return, and given several circumstances, it may not be as likely as one would think.
Jonsson-Fjallby is an RFA at the end of this season, and the team is dealing with a forward influx at the moment, with Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Aliaksei Protas in the mix while Tom Wilson and Nic Dowd work through injuries. The Capitals have 12 pending free agents to address, with seven of those being defensemen, so that will be the priority. Taking that into account, there may not be a lot of cap space or flexibility to work with, especially with Jonsson-Fjallby primarily playing NHL hockey over the course of this season.
There are also reports that Washington is expected to sign Ethen Frank, and Hershey has plenty of forward depth right now, especially with Joe Snively back down in the AHL, Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre thriving and Beck Malenstyn recently drawing back in following surgery. Plus, Protas likely to return when the Capitals get healthy again.
Still, anything can happen, and he is a prospect that the team liked and that head coach Peter Laviolette certainly didn't want to lose going into the year. He's also a familiar face, a young player in the making and someone who can play at the highest level and take on multiple roles. Plus, he could always join the Bears, compete for ice time and try and win a contract. And if things don't work out, he could hit the market.
Looking at the situation, it doesn't necessarily seem likely. However, it is possible, so nothing should be ruled out.