Less than four weeks after he was obtained in a minor league deal with the Florida Panthers’ organization, center Casey Wellman will be joining the Capitals on Tuesday. The Caps have recalled the 25-year-old California native from AHL Hershey and he is expected to participate in Tuesday’s morning skate at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Washington faces the Carolina Hurricanes at Verizon Center tonight.
With center Nicklas Backstrom missing Monday’s practice because of an injury and left wing Jason Chimera leaving that session early because of a lower body injury, the Caps found it necessary to put out a call for Wellman.
When Washington sent center Zach Hamill to Florida in exchange for Wellman on Jan. 31, Wellman joined his fourth organization in less than a calendar year. Originally signed by the Minnesota Wild as a free agent on March 16, 2010 after two seasons at U. Mass-Amherst, Wellman joined the Wild immediately after his sophomore season. He had an assist in his NHL debut vs. Columbus three days later.
Wellman played at least 12 (but no more than 15) games with Minnesota in each of the last three seasons, also spending time with AHL Houston. On Feb. 3, 2012, the Wild sent Wellman to the New York Rangers in exchange for journeyman center and shootout specialist Erik Christensen and a 7th round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Wellman never played for the Rangers, reporting to and playing for their AHL Connecticut affiliate after the deal. The Rangers then dealt him to Florida for a 5th round pick in 2014 on July 20, 2012. Wellman had been with Florida’s AHL San Antonio affiliate until the deal that brought him to the Capitals’ organization.
Wellman scored his first NHL goal for the Wild on April 10, 2010 against goaltender Kari Lehtonen of the Dallas Stars. In 41 career NHL games, Wellman has totaled four goals and nine assists for 13 points.
With Hershey this season, Wellman had three goals and 11 points in 11 games. He has 10 goals and 34 points in 48 games overall at the AHL level this season.
The son of former major league baseball infielder Brad Wellman, Casey Wellman will become the third California-born player ever to suit up for Washington – and the first in three decades – if and when he dresses for a game. He follows Mike Lampman and Lee Norwood among Capitals with that distinction.
Wellman has been issued sweater No. 48. He would become the fourth Capital to don No. 48, following in the skate-steps of Benoit Gratton, Chris Corrinet and Oskar Osala. Wellman is the first of the four with that number who was not originally drafted by the Capitals.
The addition of Wellman to the roster gives Caps coach Adam Oates another right-handed option up the middle, but Wellman has also played right wing.
Carolina also adjusted its roster as tonight’s Southeast Division contest draws near. The Hurricanes reassigned forward Andreas Nodl and defenseman Michal Jordan to AHL Charlotte and have recalled forward Zac Dalpe and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani from the same club.