Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, and T.J. Oshie have Returned to Kettler


Over the last few weeks, Capitals players have been returning to the D.C. area and attending informal skates at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The practices are being led by Capitals’ strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. Player attendance has grown week-by-week and today there was heavy attendance in the voluntary workouts. Three big players returned to Kettler on Tuesday including Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom

Wilson returned from his hometown Toronto. He will be looking to assume a larger role with the departure of Justin Williams in free agency.

Wilson was taking rushes up and down the ice and was all smiles during the break-in drills, joking around with whichever teammate was beside him. It’s good to see that Wilson was laid back and upbeat as he steps into a role that requires more responsibility.

Oshie returns after earning a big paycheck earlier in the summer, an eight-year deal worth $46 million.

Oshie is coming off a career-high season in which he scored 33 goals in 68 games played. He is hoping that number will increase this season and that he remains fully healthy for all 82 regular season games.

Oshie was wearing his traditional red practice jersey. Then, when the Capitals switched to full rink drills for scrimmage-like rushes, Oshie switched to white. I didn’t know he was good at defending. Oshie stripped the puck from Ovechkin on this rush.

Backstrom was back from Sweden fresh off winning an IIHF World Championship with the Swedish national team.

We all know Backstrom shows great ice vision and can set up the table from just about anywhere to just about any teammate. Backstrom is starting to sound like a leader from the looks of things. Over the last few weeks, Backstrom has dismissed the idea of a curse going on and also believes in the potential of Christian Djoos.

Other skaters that were here today included Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brett Connolly, Jakub Vrana, Anthony Peluso, Nathan Walker, Hampus Gustafsson, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson, Taylor Chorney, Christian Djoos, Jonas Siegenthaler, Connor Hobbs, and Lucas Johansen. Also marked present were a trio of goalies: Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer, and Vitek Vanecek.

Kuznetsov scores

Vrana takes some rushes and misses wide but he’ll make shots like that this season.

Connolly gets a nice breakaway here.

In other news, Andre Burakovsky departed Sweden today. Don’t be surprised if he’s back at Kettler with the team tomorrow.

By Michael Marzzacco

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7 Responses to Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, and T.J. Oshie have Returned to Kettler

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  4. All three guys are poised for a big year

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