Capitals youngsters who've impressed Craig Laughlin

Chris Lingebach
January 03, 2020 - 10:49 pm
Capitals midseason report: The youngsters who've impressed

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We've just crossed the midway point of the Capitals' 2019-20 season, which is the perfect time to take the temperature of some of the youngsters on the roster.

To help in this effort, 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier hit up Caps TV analyst Craig Laughlin. 'The Locker' will be joining Grant & Danny each Tuesday for the remainder of the Caps season, for a weekly segment presented by American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning.

"Locker, obviously probably the easy answer here is John Carlson, but maybe let's narrow it down to some of the younger guys," said Rouhier. "I'm thinking first-, second-, third-year players, etc. Who's impressed you the most on this Caps roster? Who do you think they need more from going forward?"

LW Jakub Vrana

"Well, let's start. Vrana's impressed me, but you've gotta live with his inconsistencies," Laughlin said. "To me, he's a player that's gonna be a star for this team. He's gonna score 30 to 40, I think, in the future because of his skill set. I think he's just inconsistent. Some games he's blazing, other games you don't really see a whole lot of Jakub Vrana. I think he's been a real solid player."

D Michal Kempny

"Guys that have to get better," he continued. "I would start at Kempny. I'm not sure he's fully recovered from his injuries. He's not playing like the Kempny that we saw in the Stanley Cup Playoffs."

RW Richard Panik

"Panik," he went on. "They were looking for more goals from him. I think he's got four now. But he's top-three lines. He's gotta produce more.

The Fourth Line: LW Brendan Leipsic, RW Garnet Hathaway, C Nic Dowd

"I think when you look at the fourth line, it's as good as it gets. Even (Barry) Trotz told me the other night. When I was talking to him before the game, he says, 'Oh my God, Locker. This fourth line reminds me so much like our fourth line,' the best fourth line in hockey. And he thinks obviously they modeled it after that line in the island, I wouldn't be surprised, in Leipsic, Hathaway and Dowd."

D Jonas Siegenthaler

"And I think that Jonas Siegenthaler, guys, is gonna be a star that no one really talks about. I think we take Siegenthaler for granted, but when you look at his numbers – leading the team in penalty killing minutes – using his reach, and I think I'm seeing a little more snarl in his game. Because that's the big thing. You know all throughout the history of the NHL, you see a big guy, you always say, 'Oh, he's gotta play tougher! He's a little soft! He doesn't really crush guys!' Well I think that part of the game's coming for Siegs, and that's why I think he's been a real godsend considering the defensive corps this season."

You can hear Locker's full Grant & Danny hit at the 25:40 mark below.