The Capitals picked up rangy defenseman Alexander Urbom off waivers from the New Jersey Devils last week, and after allowing the 22-year-old Swede some time to get to know the team’s system, Coach Adam Oates expects to get him some ice time during the upcoming five-game homestand.
“We didn’t throw him to the wolves in Dallas just because he just got here and I wanted to get Stevie [Oleksy] in the lineup, the other guys have played good hockey,” Oates said. “Now he has the chance to get four days of practice with the group and get more acclimated with the players.”
Urbom rotated through drills Tuesday and occasionally skated with John Carlson, but at this point it seems likely the Capitals would opt to ease him in to a regular season game on the third pairing. Urbom skates well for his size (6-feet-4, 215 pounds) and has the mobility that Oates consistently values on the blueline.
How well he fits in, and if he’s ready to spend any significant time in the NHL, remain to be determined. But he would certainly add a lot of size to the Capitals’ third pairing.
“I know Calle’s talking to him a lot and trying to get him as comfortable as we can so when he gets his chance he succeeds,” Oates said. “The minors in Jersey, they pretty much play the way the big club does so he’s seen a lot of the stuff we do. I know the way the Devils kind of work with their D so my understanding is he’s probably been taught well.”
>> Oates also said Michal Neuvirth will get a game during this homestand. “He played good, he came in did a great job for us,” Oates said. “We needed him.”