With the start of training camp weeks away and the 2022-23 season getting closer, some Washington Capitals are already getting back to work and on the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
Per The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir, nine players were on the ice at MCI: John Carlson, Lars Eller, Carl Hagelin, Garnet Hathaway, Hendrix Lapierre, Joe Snively, Sam Anas, Alexander Alexeyev and former Washington forward Brett Connolly.
The biggest name back on the ice so far is Hagelin. The Swede’s NHL future remains in flux as he works his way back from a devastating eye injury. At a March 1 practice, a stick caught Hagelin up high under his visor and ruptured his choroid in his left eye. The injury took away part of his vision, as well as his depth perception. Washington expects to hear an update on him at some point in August, and given he’s back on the ice, it should be a good sign.
Another injured player on the ice is Alexeyev. The Russian underwent shoulder surgery in June and is likely to miss training camp and the start of the campaign given his 4-5 month timeline. Prior to his injury, Alexeyev was among the frontrunners for a roster spot, along with Lucas Johansen, as Justin Schultz and Michal Kempny departed in free agency.
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Snively is back in action as well following wrist surgery toward the end of last season. The Little Caps alum impressed with seven points in his first 12 NHL appearances last season and also earned time on the top-6 before getting hurt. He’ll look to return to camp with a vengeance and claim a full-time spot on the roster
Connolly is also back in D.C. The 2018 Stanley Cup champion remains a free agent after his buyout from the Chicago Blackhawks. The 30-year-old dished one assist in nine games with Chicago last season and also had 35 points in 37 games for the Blackhawks’ AHL-affiliate Rockford IceHogs.
Carlson, Eller and Hathaway are the only full-time roster players back in D.C. so far. Meanwhile, Lapierre is back in the District and still has his sights set on an NHL spot. Newest Hershey Bears signee and Potomac, Maryland native Anas is in attendance as well.