Rasmus Sandin Is One Of The More Interesting Capitals To Watch Next Season

Rasmus Sandin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Rasmus Sandin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Rasmus Sandin is going to be one of the more interesting players to watch next season for the Washington Capitals. I guess it is kind of a good thing for the fans that the Caps do not have a short list when it comes to potentially interesting players to watch.

You have Ovechkin who is doing his goal record chasing thing. You have Backstrom and his health. You have some potentially exciting rookies and young guys trying to make their marks on this team. Pacioretty should be an interesting case to follow in D.C. this year. “What Kuznetsov are you going to get tonight” is a question you need to ask every night. There are plenty of interesting players on the Capitals.

Sandin is the guy that really has my attention. The 23-year-old, who will turn 24 late next season, is entering the final year of his contract. That is not the reason he is interesting to watch but it definitely adds to it, doesn’t it? The Capitals will have control over his situation as he will be a restricted free agent, but at the end of the day he will need a new contract and it seems as if he will need a raise if all goes well for him.

While it might make the Capitals life a little harder to fit in another higher priced player, Capitals fans should be wanting Sandin to get himself a raise. Because that obviously means that he will have had a nice season. If Sandin can have himself a good season I think that makes things very, very interesting.

I have no idea what Sandin’s ceiling is. At least when talking about his offense. It can take some time for guys to fully reach their ceiling.

We will talk about this guy a little more later, but take John Carlson for example. He is one of the very best offensive defensemen in the game right now. But his first really good season numbers wise didn’t happen until 2017-18, seven or so years into his career, when he was 27-28 years old. That season he had 15 goals and 68 points.

Sandin’s best season stats wise was last season when he had 7 goals and 35 points, split between Toronto and Washington. Again, compare that to Carlson who had 7 goals and 37 points in his first season, and 9 goals, 32 points in his second season.

If Sandin can come in and put up another high thirty or even forty point season that could be big. Right now, he is not the number one offensive option on defense. That is obviously number seventy-four. But if Sandin can have another really solid season he might just be showing us he is not that far from taking that spot away from Carlson.

It’s not that I am anxiously looking for the Capitals to get rid of Carlson. But you always need to be looking towards the future. Especially when your present number one guy on D is 33-34 years old. As an organization, you need to be looking at this and asking, “Ok, Carlson is now starting to get up there in age. Where is our next number one?”.

And the Caps may just have him.

Sandin was one of the more exciting players to watch at the end of last season. He was also one of the higher scoring players at the end of last season for the Capitals.

In his 19 games in Washington last season Sandin put up 15 points in 19 games. Three of those points being goals. That point total was higher than Carlson, even though Carlson played in nine fewer games. But it was also more than Nicklas Backstrom. Sandin had more points than T.J. Oshie, who again played in fewer games. He had more points than Anthony Mantha, not super impressive but Mantha “should” be scoring more. He even had three times the amount of points than highly paid, highly skilled Evgeny Kuznetsov who had 5 points during Sandin’s time as a Capital. He had the same amount of points as Tom Wilson did.

The only guys who had more points while he was a Capital was Alex Ovechkin, who had 18 points, and Dylan Strome, who had an impressive 25 points during Sandin’s short time in Washington. That’s it. That’s the entire list of players who had more points than Sandin.

Could Sandin be the future number one guy for the Washington Capitals on defense? I have no idea. It is way too soon to tell. But that’s why I think of all the interesting players to watch on the Capitals for this upcoming season Sandin may be one of the more interesting guys to watch.

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He is not going to be the number one guy this season. He likely will not be your number one for the next two or three seasons. But maybe this could be the season that we get a better look at  down the road. The Capitals are going to need a new number one fairly soon. Is this the season that Sandin shows us he can be that down the road?