The Washington Capitals signed Alex Chiasson to a one-year $660,000 contract after giving him a look in the preseason under a PTO. His production on the scoreboard wasn’t a eye-catcher, but his gritty play and big stature landed him a contract with the club. Originally, Coach Barry Trotz placed him on the fourth line with Jay Beagle and Devante Smith-Pelly. However, with the “injury bug” rummaging its way through the NHL putting players like Tyler Graovac and Andre Burakovsky, the Caps look to mix it up. For the three game road trip, Chiasson will be paired on the second line with captain Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. The team aims to add more of a net-front presence to that line.
Chiasson was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 2nd round of the 2009 NHL Draft. He played two years with their affiliate and made the jump to their team the in the second half of his contract. From there, he went on to play for the Ottawa Senators for 2 years (2014-2016) and the Calgary Flames for 1 year (2016-2017). Over his career in the NHL, he has averaged 10-12 goals and 14-16 assists per season. His production seems fitting for a good third checking line.
This is a risky move by coach Trotz, but nothing to be worried about. Trotz shuffles the lines regularly until players click. Maybe we’ll see a “Mike Knuble” style of player breakout from Chiasson, maybe we won’t. Only way to see if he has it in him is to put him out there for a game or two. Give him a chance to prove he is worthy. Best of luck to him in the upcoming games.