Photo credit: Bill Kostroun/AP Photo
The Washington Capitals have picked up Swedish defenseman Alexander Urbom off waivers from the New Jersey Devils. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound blueliner was drafted by New Jersey 73rd overall in 2009.
A left-handed defenseman, Urbom is known for his reliable defensive game. His physical play has improved in recent years spent mostly with the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany. He has played in just 14 NHL regular season games, scoring two goals. Urbom, who worked with Caps head coach Adam Oates in New Jersey, is a mobile defenseman and an effective defender.
“He is a big, strong kid,” Oates said to Monumental Network’s Mike Vogel. “[He] skates good, uses his body well. And he fought [Montreal’s Brandon] Prust [in a preseason game] the other night. He’s got huge potential. I don’t think his offense has come out yet.”
Urbom lost out on a roster spot to veteran Peter Harrold. It’s the first time he has been waived in his career.
“Here’s a kid who is not playing for New Jersey – they’ve got depth issues as well,” Oates continued. “If we can make him better, he upgrades us. There is no secret potion. If he upgrades, he plays. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t.”
On Devember 23rd, 2011, Urbom scored his second career NHL goal against the Caps. It was actually a pretty fancy play.
His first career goal came April 11, 2011 against the Boston Bruins.
To make room for Urbom, the Caps assigned center Michael Latta to Hershey.
Urbom, currently in the final year of his entry-level contract, will become a restricted free agent next summer. He has a relatively high cap hit of $869,167, but $285,000 of it comes from performance bonuses, making it easier for the Capitals to fit him. The addition of Urbom makes the Caps organization even deeper in an already crowded blue line. Right now, the Caps have eight defensemen on the NHL roster and six more (Dmitry Orlov, Tomas Kundratek, Tyson Strachan, Patrick Wey, Cameron Schilling, Nate Schmidt) ready to compete for spots now or in the near future.
Photo credit: Andy Martin Jr/The Hockey Writers.