Connect with us

Washington Capitals

How Trevor van Riemsdyk Earned 3 Year Extension & Embraced Pressure Of No. 1 Role

The Washington Capitals brought back TVR for three years as he’s embraced the pressure of a bigger role. Here’s more on how he’s stepped up.



ARLINGTON, V.A. — Washington Capitals defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk is no stranger to versatility. It's what the Washington Capitals have always liked about the 31-year-old, who went from being the team's seventh defenseman during the pandemic-shortened season to a top-pairing blueline.

For van Riemsdyk, it's all part of the job, as adaptability and on-the-fly change have become second nature for him, and he's ready for more after signing a three-year, $9 million extension on Saturday.

Over the last three seasons, TVR has moved up and down the lineup and has emerged as a pivotal part of the blue line. He started off as the extra who was mainly a healthy scratch in 2020-21, and he played in just 20 games while mainly practicing with the team's taxi squad. Then, in 2021-22, he was a constant in the lineup but he was playing on his off side while mainly working in tandem with Justin Schultz. This year, though, he is playing the biggest role yet as the No. 1 defenseman with John Carlson still recovering from a slapshot to the face and Dmitry Orlov and Erik Gustafsson being shipped out ahead of the deadline.

"We've been missing Johnny a lot and he does so much for us," van Riemsdyk said. "I just try to do the things that make me successful and try not to do too much because you have more minutes, just do the same things that you do night in and night out to make the team more successful."

READ MORE ON WHN: Rasmus Sandin Makes More History As Washington Capitals Manage Major Win Over New York Islanders

Since Carlson went down, TVR has led all Capitals skaters in total ice time, logging 648:13 total minutes and leading all defensemen in offensive zone starts (128). Over the last few games with Orlov and Gustafsson also departing, his average ice time per game has gone up to over 25 minutes as he works in tandem with newcomer Rasmus Sandin. TVR's power-play time has also gone up.

Through 67 games so far this season, van Riemsdyk has seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points, marking the first time he has hit the 20-point mark in a season. He also leads all Washington players in blocks and ranks seventh in the NHL with 148 this season. 

While there are more minutes, bigger roles and higher expectations piling up for TVR amid Carlson's injury and the mid-season retool on the blue line, he doesn't see it as added pressure. Instead, it's another opportunity and one that led to his highest-paying contract yet.

"I don't really look at it that way," TVR said of the responsibilities. "You just want to gain the coaches' trust and all that. When stuff like that happens — obviously injuries are inevitable, hate to see them happen, and it sucks when they do — you want to show that if they need you in those situations, that you can conform and take them in stride."

All the Capitals news that's fit to print

Sign up and get all of our stories sent directly to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.