The Washington Capitals announced today they have recalled RW Tom Wilson and RW Joey Crabb from the AHL Hershey Bears. The Bears were eliminated last night after taking the #1 seed Providence Bruins to the brink in their best-of-5 first round series.
The big story revolves around 19-year old prospect Tom Wilson, a right-shooting 6'4, 210-lb winger. Wilson was the 16th overall pick in last June's draft and participated in Capitals training camp in January. He was ultimately returned to his junior team, where he was the 5th-leading scorer for the Ontario Hockey League Plymouth Whalers. He scored 23 goals and 58 points in just 48 games, more than doubling his totals in those categories from last year. He was his team's 4th leading scorer in the playoffs, posting 9 goals and 17 points in 12 games before the Whalers were eliminated by Dale Hunter's London Knights in the second round. After his junior season ended, Wilson made his professional debut by suiting up in 3 AHL playoff games with the Hershey Bears, scoring a third period go-ahead goal in a Game 4 loss. Wilson is a big, rangy scoring winger in the mold of Eric Fehr but with more of a power-forward mindset. He posted 245 penalty minutes over his last two seasons in junior and likes to dish out big hits and yap at opposing players. It is possible he could see his first NHL action as soon as Game 5, as there is now a lineup opening with the injury to winger Martin Erat. Wilson's OHL stats can be found here.
Also recalled was 6'1, 190-lb Joey Crabb, who continues his multi-league odyssey this season. After signing a 1-year deal with the Capitals in the off-season, the Anchorage native was forced to start the season with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL because of the lockout. The 30-year old posted 17 goals and 38 points in 35 ECHL games before joining the Capitals in January. After posting 11 goals and 26 points last season with Toronto, the offense did not materialize for Crabb at the NHL level this season. He managed just two goals in 26 games with the big club before he was waived on March 23. After Crabb cleared waivers, he was assigned to the AHL Hershey Bears, where he skated on the first line and posted 6 goals and 12 points in 12 games. He was a constant presence in the playoffs, too, scoring 5 goals in the 5-game series for the Bears. At the NHL level, Crabb does have some offensive upside, but on this team he would likely be used in a 4th-line role. He is a quality NHL player but was ultimately squeezed out of the lineup by the return of injured players and the waiver acquisition of Aaron Volpatti, not because he wasn't playing well, and his presence in the lineup could be a boost for the Caps. Crabb's stats can be found here.