ARLINGTON, VA- In a somewhat surprising move, the Washington Capitals announced one of the team’s top prospects in Hershey has been recalled. Jakub Vrana who was selected in the 1st Round (13th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals is now likely to be making his NHL debut tonight in Washington. Vrana’s teammate Paul Carey is also on his way up to the Capitals. In a corresponding move, Zach Sanford has been assigned to Hershey.
Vrana, 20, is in the midst of a six-game point streak and has points in eight of his past nine games for the Bears. After an early drought and benching, the native of the Czech Republic has responded well and climbed to third in scoring on the Bears. Vrana has 16 points (9G, 7A) in 18 games with Hershey this season. He has proven to be an offensive catalyst with his passing and scoring ability. With injury problems in Washington, the Capitals felt it was best to get their first look at their Czech prospect while he’s on a roll.
Paul Carey continues a roller coaster ride between Washington and Hershey. Carey has been called up three times by the Capitals but has only played once. He is riding a 12-game point streak with the Bears. He’s proved to be a reliable piece all over the ice and has only been held off the scoresheet in four games so far. He has five goals and nine assists in 16 games.
In order for the Capitals to fit Vrana under the salary cap, they had to assign Sanford to Hershey. The former Boston College Eagle has appeared in 19 games with Washington this season after earning a spot out of training camp. Playing primarily on the third and fourth lines, he has one assist. The Bears heavy emphasis on forechecking pressure will serve him well and could ignite his offensive game. In two years with Boston College, Sanford recorded 63 points (20G, 43A).
“We put (Sanford) on a line, he’s one of those guys that can make a real good play off the wall. His reads are pretty good he just hasn’t got a reward for that,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “I don’t want to give him 10 minutes of ice time for 82 games.”
This won’t be the last appearance for Sanford in Washington but it can’t hurt his confidence to get numbers and minutes under his belt. He’ll likely make his Hershey debut this weekend as they play a three in three Friday through Sunday. He will wear number 23 for Hershey.