With a lockout looking to be an almost certainty, Washington Capitals’ fans begin to look ahead to potential future players in the system that they could one day see in Washington. Many of the big names prospects including Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Stanislav Gailiev will in all likelihood make the Capitals’ roster in the next two years and will stay there until moving to another team. Today, we take a look at a player who’s future is somewhat certain, Capitals defense-man Kevin Marshall.
Marshall, 23, joined the Washington Capitals organization last season following a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Matthew Ford. Before joining the Capitals, Marshall saw time on the third defensive pairing for the Philadelphia Flyers, joining the big club from the Adirondack Phantoms due to injuries on the Flyers blue line. Marshall played 10 games in the NHL for the Flyers last season, playing solid defensively and bringing a physical presence to the lineup.
Following the trade, Marshall was sent to the Capitals AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. He immediately provided a needed physical presence joining the first defensive pairing alongside former Capitals prospect, Sean Collins. He played a large role on the penalty kill and complimented the multiple offensive defense-men on the Bears roster. In 31 games with Hershey, the 23 year old defense-man contributed one assist and was steady on defense, earning a zero plus minus rating.
His offensive game surely dropped when coming to Hershey, managing only one point in the regular season with the Bears compared to five points with the Adirondack Phantoms in the first half of the AHL season. Marshall resigned with Washington this off-season in his first year with restricted free agency status. He holds a cap hit of $525,000 cap hit for the 2012-2013 season and will earn $75,000 at the AHL level.
Washington currently has their defensive core set for the 2012-2013 campaign, signaling Marshall is not in their plans for this upcoming season. He should spend the season with the Hershey Bears, bringing his physicality and strong defensive presence every game. He doesn’t turn the puck over often and is able to make a solid first pass. His offensive game is what he must work at most however, if he wants to see time in the NHL in the near future. An attainable goal for Marshall would be 15 points this season. There are numerous defense-men that he could be paired with in the upcoming season including Tomas Kundratek, Garrett Stafford or Cameron Schilling. He will earn time on the penalty kill and will be a key cog in late game situations.
Stay tuned to Rant Sports for future Capitals prospect profiles in the upcoming weeks as players, coaches, media and fans stay hopeful for a hockey season this fall.