After a season of watching games from the press box, 23 year old Defensemen Dmitry Orlov has a chance to put that in the past. As of right now, I expect Dmitry Orlov and Nate Shmidt will open training camp as the favorites to hold down the 3rd defensive pairing for the Caps next season.
Since breaking his wrist in the 2014 World Championship playing for Russia, Orlov has required two surgeries to repair the break and eliminate an infection that developed. Orlov spent the majority of last hockey season rehabbing his wrist to regain flexibility and strength. Although deemed ready after a rehab assignment with the Hershey Bears, shortly before the Stanley Cup Playoffs began last season, Barry Trotz was hesitant to throw him in the mix (and rightfully so.) The only spot Dmitry could have taken was Tim Gleason’s and there’s no way he was as game ready as the latter.
With Gleason most likely to depart via Free Agency and no other clear cut choice for the last Defensive spot (barring Maclellan signing another free agent), Orlov has his best opportunity yet to secure a spot on the Caps opening day roster in a contract year. We’ve all seen the cannon of a shot he possesses and the all-around game he’s capable of playing, so he could work out nicely on the Cap’s third pairing. He showed off a heavy shot and tallied three assists in three rehab games with the Hershey Bears last season so he should be physically ready to go for camp. He’ll have to win the ‘TrotzTrust’ as he hasn’t started a game since Trotz took over as head coach in DC.
So as of right now, the job seems to be Orlov’s to lose but he’ll have to prove in camp that he has no lingering issues from a twice surgically fixed wrist and that he can beat out a young and hungry defenseman named Madison Bowey. What’s your thought’s Caps fans? Will Orlov be on the Cap’s opening day roster?