Todd Reirden speaks with his team. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

With the Washington Capitals’ first break in training camp came the first trimming, too. On the team’s day off Wednesday, the organization cut eight players from its preseason roster, sending Canadian junior players and Europeans playing abroad this season back to their respective clubs.

Defenseman Alex Alexeyev, the Capitals’ 2018 first-round pick, was among the players shuffled off Wednesday, and he’ll play for Red Deer in the Western Hockey League for the next season. Washington was impressed with the 18-year-old Russian, who made his preseason debut on Tuesday night. But with the Capitals returning all seven defensemen from last year’s Stanley Cup run, the team can afford a patient approach with his development.

“He continues to show his ability to play in a number of different ways,” Coach Todd Reirden said. “Just really some high-skill plays in tight areas where he’s executing passes that normally guys at that size and that age probably don’t do as defensemen. And then you see him blocking shots. He’s a guy that has a bright future ahead of him and continuing to learn and grow every day.”

The Capitals also cut 2017 draftee Kristian Roykas Marthinsen and 2018 draftees Kody Clark, Riley Sutter, Alex Kannok-Leipert, Eric Florchuk and Martin Fehervary, who’ll play in Sweden this season. Goaltender Logan Thompson was released from his tryout agreement with the team.

Washington plays its third preseason game in Quebec City on Thursday night.

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