Washington Capitals prospect defenseman Dmitri Orlov has been making a name for himself within the Washington organization this preseason. With only one game left to play in the preseason, Orlov will be trying his best to impress the coaching staff one last time before the rosters will be set heading into the regular season. So far this preseason, the Capitals coaches have been impressed by Orlov’s performance and seem to believe he has been progressing quite nicely in game time situations. General Mangager, George McPhee, believes that when a player has been playing that well he deserves to continue to play and get the experience. However, the staff is not quite sure if they believe Orlov is prepared to begin the season in the NHL with the Capitals. Don’t expect any decisions to be made hastily after the game though. McPhee stated that the final decision wont be made until either later tonight, or Monday.
“We haven’t made a decision there but we sure like what we have in the player and he deserves to play another game.” -Washington Capitals General Manager, George McPhee
With defenseman Tom Poti already scheduled to be placed on the long term injured reserve list, and John Erskine still recovering from his off-season shoulder surgery and not yet cleared for contact, there is one last roster spot open for the defense entering the regular season. With the playing time that Orlov has been receiving in the preseason, one must assume that he is the primary candidate to earn the final spot on defense. Orlov is the final non-roster defensive player, and will most likely earn that final spot in today’s final preseason game against the Chicago Blackhawks depending on his play.
Orlov was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He is the type of defenseman that the Capitals have been looking for the past few years. Orlov has great offensive capabilities while being able to throw his body around on the defensive end. He does have problems seeing plays develop in front of him and getting caught out of position, however his play in the preseason has shown his maturity in both of those departments. Orlov is the prime example of an all-around defenseman with great potential to be a star one day in the NHL.