Dmitry Orlov’s hockey career was once in jeopardy due to setbacks after undergoing surgery on a broken wrist, but looking at his performance the last two seasons, one wouldn’t even know it. One of the NHL’s most promising young blueliners, Orlov has become arguably, the Capitals’ top offensive blueliner, and he’s ready to take the next step to superstardom in 2017-18.
Over the first two seasons since he sat out the 2014-15 season due to injury, Orlov has recorded 62 points (14 goals, 48 assists) in 164 games played. After averaging 16:02 of ice time in 2015-16, Orlov saw his playing time spike to an average of 19:32 minutes a night. After playing primarily on the third-pairing in his first season back, Orlov saw his role increase to a Top 4 role and he saw some time on the power play. In his career, Orlov has scored 20 goals and 73 assists for 93 points in 283 games played and a plus/minus rating of plus-43. That production was rewarded a few weeks ago when the Capitals re-signed Orlov to a long-term, six-year contract.
A former second-round pick by the Caps (55th overall in 2009), Orlov has become one of the NHL’s best young blueliners. Orlov possesses a blistering shot and, with the departure of longtime defensive stalwart Karl Alzner in free agency, he should see even more playing time next season. He has the potential to become a household name across the league at the age of 25 (26 on July 23).
Throughout his NHL career, Orlov has averaged 0.33 points per game and has been a solid possession player with a Corsi rating of 52.7. With an even bigger role next season, those numbers should only improve and, given his offensive talent, Orlov should be able to take the next step into superstardom and towards becoming a serious Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman) contender.
By Michael Fleetwood