It’s no secret that the Washington Capitals are in need of a spark and could be busy at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21. And one answer to their problems could lie in the Pacific Northwest, specifically in Seattle.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wrote in his latest “32 Thoughts” that the Capitals could be interested in Kraken forward Calle Jarnkrok.
“Another Washington forward possibility… he fits the way they play,” Friedman wrote.
Seattle selected Jarnkrok from Nashville in the expansion draft, and he has been one of their most important pieces since. Through 42 games this season, Jarnkrok ranks sixth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points. He ranks third among forwards in average ice time (16:40) and plays top-6 minutes.
Calle Jarnkrok, EASY! 👍 pic.twitter.com/XB7kkR04Bl
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 20, 2022
Jarnkrok is a versatile forward who can play in all situations. He averages 2:10 minutes on the power play and 1:22 on the penalty kill with the Kraken. The 30-year-old also has great vision and playmaking ability, and he takes good care of the puck. Not only that, but he has a quick shot and can get to those dangerous scoring areas with his skating, and also backcheck effectively.
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The Capitals have has reportedly been in the hunt for a jack-of-all-trades forward, and trade partners could lie out west. And given Jarnkrok’s versatility and utility at both ends of the ice, he could be an ideal fit. Washington’s power play is still struggling, and the team also needs secondary scoring and someone to provide an extra boost as the playoff push continues.
Plus, Jarnkrok is no stranger to head coach Peter Laviolette. Before landing in Seattle, Jarnkrok played in Nashville for eight seasons and spent time under Laviolette’s tenure, while also being part of that 2016-17 club that made it to the Stanley Cup Final.
Overall, he is a veteran presence who plays all three forward positions and knows how to win. Looking at the Capitals’ 4-1 loss to the Rangers, the club is in clear need of an upgrade. There hasn’t been a lot of jump or urgency, and a deal like this could be a push in the right direction. It’s unclear what the return could look like. He carries an AAV of $2 million and is a UFA at the end of this season.