Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson skated prior to the team’s optional practice on Friday for the first time since taking a puck to the face in the second period of the team’s 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on December 23. The Capitals said on Friday that Carlson will be re-evaluated in late February.
Caps say John Carlson (hit in head with puck) was on the ice for the first time today since being injured Dec 23. Was not close to a full skating session.
He will continue to do low-level exercise & will be evaluated in late Feb to determine next steps in his recovery.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) January 27, 2023
The 32-year-old is out indefinitely, according to the team, with numerous sources saying not to expect him to return until at least late in the regular season.
The twirl at MedStar Capitals Iceplex was not close to a full skating session. Carlson will continue to do low-level exercise and until his next evaluation to determine next steps in his recovery.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 27, 2023
After suffering the injury, Carlson went to the hospital and was discharged the following day.
He leads Washington in time-on-ice per game (23:24) and posted eight goals, 21 points, a 53.07% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 53.3% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 51.53% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 30 games before suffering the injury.
Carlson has missed the last 15 games.
Washington could look for a defenseman as insurance ahead of the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on March 3. If Carlson does not play again in the regular season, the team could have a spare $8 million in salary cap space to spend.
By Harrison Brown