By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, DCpuckDrop
On Wednesday morning, during the Washington Capitals’ morning skate, Shane Gersich was slotted into the Caps’ third line at left wing alongside Lars Eller and Devante Smith-Pelly, and reports state that the 21-year-old will make his NHL debut tonight at Capital One Arena against the New York Rangers.
Gersich: Impressive College Career Stats
The University of North Dakota alum will become the fifth Capitals player to make his NHL debut so far this season, joining Christian Djoos, Nathan Walker, Madison Bowey and Travis Boyd. During his college career, Gersich amassed 77 points in 117 games (43 goals, 34 assists), including nine PPGs.
Gersich, a 2014 fifth-round draft pick, signed a two-year entry-level contract with Washington on Friday and immediately joined the team, effectively deleting a year on his deal.
“Enjoy it. Just play hockey,” Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz said Wednesday morning when asked about the advice he’d given to the much-touted prospect. Tuesday night, Trotz told the Minnesota native to let his family know the good news and to tell them to head to the nation’s capital. Gersich’s father, Frank, his mother, Shar, and his older brother, Cade, all hopped on a flight to Washington late Tuesday and will be seated at Capital One Arena Wednesday night to cheer on Shane.
Grubauer or Copley
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) March 28, 2018
“I’ll try to take a nap this afternoon, but we’ll see,” Gerisch said following the morning skate Wednesday. “It’s a dream come true for me. It’s a moment I’ve been dreaming about my whole life. It’s nice to have my family in town to enjoy the experience with me.”
Grubauer Injury Concern: Phoenix Copley Recalled
Healthy scratches for tonight’s game are Jakub Vrana, Brett Connolly, and Jakub Jerabek. Meanwhile, goaltender Philipp Grubauer is expected to also miss out tonight while he is nursing a ‘tweak’ he picked up Monday in the first game of the current home-and-home set with the Rangers. Phoenix Copley was called up from the AHL as a precaution with Braden Holtby expected between the pipes tonight.
The Capitals are looking to keep up a recent spate of good momentum having taken all six points available from a road trip up north.