Photo: NHL via Getty Images
Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette announced on Sunday afternoon that forward Tom Wilson (lower-body injury) will miss the team’s game against the Buffalo Sabres (3 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). Center Connor McMichael will draw into the lineup and make his NHL debut.
McMichael, 20, was on the team’s taxi squad and is expected to remain with the team until he can play with the OHL’s London Knights or with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. He was the 25th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft by the Capitals.
#Caps recall forward Connor McMichael from taxi squad to NHL active roster.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 24, 2021
McMichael recorded 47 goals, 102 points, and a +32 rating in 52 games with the OHL’s London Knights last season. He also tallied four goals, eight points, and a +8 rating in seven games with Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships last month.
Goaltender Vitek Vanecek will start for the third consecutive game with Ilya Samsonov still out with COVID-19. Defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk will make his Capitals’ debut.
Samsonov, captain Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov will miss at least the next three games due to COVID-19 protocol. Ovechkin and Orlov both have COVID-19 anti-bodies.
The Sabres recalled center Casey Mittelstadt from their taxi squad, loaned center Dylan Cozens to the taxi squad, and activated forward Kyle Okposo from injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s game.
By Harrison Brown