When free agency began on July 1st, many Capitals fans hoped that GM George McPhee would make a splash in free agency, as he has almost every year in his tenure. However, in the days and weeks following the opening of free agency, McPhee has filled his roster with low-risk signings that have potential. One of these signings with an especially high potential reward is winger Wojtek Wolski, who was signed to a one-year, $600,000 contract on July 11.
Wolski, 26, was born in Poland but has spent the majority of his adolescent life and entire career in North America. After playing major junior with the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League, for which he holds 11 franchise records and shares another, he began his NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche, who picked him 21st overall in 2004 – the same draft that saw Washington pick Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, and Jeff Schultz selected in the top 30.
Standing 6’3” and weighing over 200 pounds, Wolski is a big, skilled forward who has the talent to immediately help the Caps fill the void left by Alexander Semin’s presumed departure. Though he did not expressly say it, McPhee hinted at this when asked about Wolski on the final day of the Caps’ annual summer development camp.
“A former first round pick that’s had some real productive years in the League, then sort of fell off,” he said. “I get seduced by talent from time to time. I like it, and we have a good group of forwards that are big and play hard and this is an opportunity to add some talent in there. We like the move and hope that it works out for him and for us.”
Unfortunately, Wolski’s last couple of seasons have not been up to par for a former first round selection. The 26 year-old winger has been on five different teams since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, and both of his last two campaigns have been derailed by injuries.
“Last year was a lost year for him,” McPhee added. “But here’s a guy with some ability, and there’s an opportunity here. The ability is there, and I think the commitment is there as well.”no comments