Washington Capitals: Projecting the 2021 starters

Projecting the Washington Capitals 2021 lineup.

The Washington Capitals aren’t quite done assembling their team for the 2020-21 season but it’s never too early to look at what the lineup will look like next season. All their draft picks this year will not make the team so we’ll have to wait to see what they bring to the Caps in a few years. But free agency was able to give us a read on what the lineup could look like.

We’ll break this down into three parts: the forwards, defense, and goalies and take a look at the potential lines and defensive pairings. Keep in mind it’s still early and the Caps can still make a move or two. So this is basically the first version. Without further ado, let’s begin

Forwards

Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson
Vrana-Backstrom-Oshie
Hagelin-Eller-Panik
Sprong-Dowd-Hathaway

No surprises or changes to the top six. It’s pretty much the same as it’s been the last two years. Richard Panik moves back to the third line but could drop down to the fourth if he struggles like he did last season when the team brought on Ilya Kovalchuk.

The newest face we see on here is Daniel Sprong. After trading Christian Djoos for him, the Caps have been very high on Sprong even though he wasn’t in the Caps lineup inside the bubble. Despite that, he impressed the coaches at training camp and practices and the Caps see him impacting the bottom six next season.

Defense

Dillon-Carlson
Orlov-Schultz
Siegenthaler-Jensen/van Riemsdyk

The Caps aren’t quite done with their defense and there should be another tweak or two or a trade on the horizon. The Caps biggest priority was to re-sign Brenden Dillon and they did just that.

The most expensive signing during free agency was Justin Schultz‘s two year contract worth eight million. He brings experience from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jonas Siegenthaler is a restricted free agent that will most likely be re-signed. We’re just waiting for the official news. What will be interesting is seeing what happens to Nick Jensen with these defensive acquisitions and that’s not even mentioning Paul LaDue, who could challenge Jensen and newcomer Trevor van Riemsdyk. van Riemsdyk was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes.

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Goalies

Ilya Samsonov and Henrik Lundqvist

Finally, we’re onto the goalies. After a strong rookie season, Ilya Samsonov is expected to be fully healthy to compete in training camp to solidify his starting spot. Henrik Lundqvist was brought in to be a mentor to Samsonov and the two can become a solid goalie tandem this season.