Sasha Pokulok and Tyler Sloan were sent to Hershey yesterday, and there are two points to be made here.
First, we think this reflects progress for Pokulok, who has had a rough go of it, physically, since he was drafted by the club. His development has been stunted to a large degree, and one hopes that a full and healthy season in Hershey gets the youngster back on track. Although he's a first round pick, he's an underdog of sorts worth rooting for.
The second point is this...the Caps now have ten defensemen left in camp. One might conclude that nine of them have a legitimate shot at a roster spot (we would think that Jame Pollock will, at some point, be heading up to Hershey). It's likely that in this game of musical roster spots, one or two will find themselves on the outside, looking in. While there are options, in terms of who among this group could be sent to Hershey (Jeff Schultz, for example), there is quite a crowd looking to make the Caps' decisions difficult. This situation would have been hard to imagine just a couple of years ago.
Among the "locks" for spots, we see:
The other five are a mix of those who could be sent down or moved:
In any case, one or two of this quintet -- depending on how many defensemen the Caps choose to carry -- will not be with the Caps on opening night.