As the playoff push continues and the trade deadline approaches, the Washington Capitals are reportedly on the lookout for forwards as the team looks to find a spark on offense. And, it’s possible that Buffalo Sabres forward Victor Olofsson could be a potential target.
NHL.com’s Dan Rosen discussed the Capitals’ needs in his mailbag and said it’s “fair” to say that Olofsson could be on the Capitals radar. The 26-year-old has hit the 20-goal mark once in his young career and is a versatile forward that can play either side of the wing.
“We can talk about goaltending, which is an issue the Capitals need to resolve if they want to be considered a Stanley Cup contender, but the prolonged, sputtering offense, especially the power play, is their biggest problem,” Rosen wrote, adding, “it’s fair to say that Oloffson, a Buffalo Sabres forward, could be a target.”
In the last 18 games, Washington’s net power-play percentage sits at 11.3 percent because of three shorthanded goals against. The Capitals has a total net PP% of 11.2 through 51 games this season, which ranks fourth-worst in the NHL. They are also struggling at 5-on-5 at times, and they not getting a lot of secondary scoring throughout the lineup.
A player like Olofsson could be interesting. He has a quick, lethal shot and is a smart, accurate shooter who can play the role of a power-play specialist. However, this season has been tough for him, and he recently ended a 31-game goal-scoring drought with two goals against the Islanders. However, he is playing on a struggling Sabres team and could find a spark with a change of scenery. He has 23 points in 39 games overall this season.
The Swede has also hit the 20-goal mark before, and he is only 26 years old. Rosen pointed out that while Buffalo could trade him for the right price, the team isn’t necessarily looking to ship him out.
“[Olofsson] might be jolted by a change of scenery… but I don’t think the Sabres are going to actively shop him,” Rosen wrote, adding, “The Sabres likely will trade him if they get an offer that goes above his current value. But to trade him now, when his value is low, doesn’t make sense.”
Looking at their needs, Washington also needs to address the goaltending situation. And with Olofsson’s carrying a cap hit of $3.05 million, it may be a bit too high a price to take on. The Capitals need space to add a goaltender, and they need to make sure they trade away the right pieces. Plus, T.J. Oshie and Anthony Mantha will be returning soon and carry big cap hits, so trading for Olofsson may be a bit complicated.