Zach Sanford Is Finding His Way

Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) skates with the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Zach Sanford has had an interesting year since participating in the Capitals Development Camp back in early July. Planning to return for his junior year at Boston College, Sanford would be offered a contract from the Capitals immediately following camp, and ultimately land an opening night roster spot to start the season with the Capitals. However, after 20 games without scoring a goal, on November 30th, Sanford was reassigned to Hershey

Sanford would rejoin the Capitals briefly in December, but for the most part, he spent the next two months in Hershey, working on his game. Then Andre Burakovsky broke his hand, and the doors of opportunity were once again swung wide open. Sanford would be recalled by the Capitals to fill-in for Burakovsky in the team’s final game before the bye week. The team time Sanford would make good use of the call-up count, scoring his first NHL goal and the eventual game winner against the Ducks.

Just two hours after scoring his first NHL goal, Sanford was officially reassigned to Hershey. The Capitals were entering the bye-week, so it made sense that Sanford head back to Hershey to put in some work. He would make good use of his brief time with the Bears.

After delighting the Verizon Center crowd and his teammates by notching his first career NHL goal, Sanford jetted off to Bridgeport and rejoined the Bears just before their Saturday afternoon game in snowy Connecticut. Game and travel weary? Not Sanford – he scored a pair of goals for the Bears, who came up just short against the Sound Tigers.

Sanford and Jakub Vrana would be recalled by the Capitals when the team returned from their bye week. The call-up occurred just in time for a Friday morning workout, and flight with the team to Detroit. Sanford would notch the Capitals first goal on Saturday against the Red Wings, closing the score to 2-1.

After going scoreless in his first 20 games, Sanford has scored two goals in two games played, and looks like a much more confident player than he did at the start of the season. Sanford met with the media following the game.

It’s been a pretty crazy year for the 22-year old. However, it’s hard to argue against how the Capitals have managed the young prospect, and the subsequent results of his latest play. In just eight short months, Sanford has quickly become an important piece to the Capitals puzzle, both short term and long term.

Meet Washington Capitals’ Prospect Zach Sanford
Capitals Sign Zach Sanford
Why Zach Sanford Will Be On The Capitals Opening Night Roster

By Jon Sorensen

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The "San Man" is heating up!

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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