September 22, 2020

Capitals claim Alexander Urbom off waivers, assign Michael Latta to Hershey

In a press release Thursday afternoon, the Washington Capitals announced they claimed Swedish defenseman Alexander Urbom off waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Forward Michael Latta was subsequently assigned to Hershey to clear cap space for Urbom. The Capitals now have 8 defensemen on their roster. Perhaps Connor Carrick will be the next to move to Hershey in the coming days.

Latta moving to Hershey means Jay Beagle will likely dress for Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

On the Urbom pickup:

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have claimed defenseman Alexander Urbom off waivers from New Jersey, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Urbom, 22, recorded eight assists and 64 penalty minutes in 68 games with the Albany Devils of the America Hockey League (AHL) last season. The native of Stockholm, Sweden, has played in 14 career NHL games and collected two goals and nine penalty minutes.

Urbom registered 12 points (two goals, 10 assists), 33 penalty minutes in 50 games during the 2011-12 season and also represented the Devils in the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic. In 190 career AHL games, Urbom collected 43 points (four goals, 39 assists) and 161 penalty minutes.

The 6’4”, 215-pound defenseman was drafted by New Jersey in the third round (73rd overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft.




And on the Latta reassignment:

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have assigned center Michael Latta to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Latta, 22, made his NHL debut against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at United Center. The Kitchener, Ontario, native split last season between Milwaukee (AHL) and Hershey, registering 38 points (10 goals, 28 assists) and 198 penalty minutes in 76 games. The 6’0”, 212-pound center also skated in five playoff games for the Bears last season, collecting three points (two goals, one assist) in five games. Latta has registered 66 points (24 goals, 42 assists) and 300 penalty minutes in 131 career AHL regular-season games.

Latta, along with Martin Erat, was acquired by Washington from Nashville in exchange for Filip Forsberg on April 3, 2013. Latta was originally drafted by Nashville in the third round, 72nd overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Washington Capitals place D Tomas Kundratek on waivers

The Washington Capitals reportedly placed right-handed defenseman Tomas Kundratek on waivers Wednesday, with the plans to send him to Hershey if he clears waivers. The rest of the league has until Thursday at noon to make a claim.

Kundratek’s removal from the roster removes his $550,000 salary cap hit, giving the Caps a little more room under the cap with which to maneuver.

The move could be a pre-cursor to the team keeping Tom Wilson, the 19-year-old winger that has made a terrific impression in camp. He is not eligible to play in the AHL this season, so if he doesn’t make the Caps, he’d have to be returned to his junior team. Coach Adam Oates has made several comments that he’d like to have Wilson’s size and presence on the fourth line this season and that he’s already outgrown major Juniors, calling him a man among boys at that level.

The Caps top two defense pairing seem set, with veterans Karl Alzner and Mike Green as the top pair and John Erskine and John Carlson the second duo. The Caps then have several candidates to fill the bottom pair.

Jack Hillen and Steve Oleksy finished last season as that third pairing, but Kundratek’s overall game seemed to be a good fit to stick around as the seventh defenseman or eventually step in for Oleksy.

Then there’s Dmitry Orlov, who at one time seemed destined for top-four minutes. A series of injuries, including a concussion that saw him miss over three months last season, derailed those plans.

In Adam Oates’ pregame comments before the team takes on Nashville Wednesday night at Verizon Center, he said that Kundratek is “a good hockey player. If he gets picked up [on waivers], I hope he does well. If he doesn’t, I hope we see him again.”

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