Zach Sanford, taken 61st overall by Washington at the 2013 draft, is forgoing his final years at Boston College and turning pro.
The Caps signed Sanford to his entry-level deal on Monday, shortly after the big forward participated in the club’s annual prospects development camp. The 6-foot-4, 191-pounder was a key piece of BC’s success last year, scoring 13 goals and 39 points in 41 games, helping the Eagles reach the Frozen Four.
Sanford, 21, has spent the last two years at Boston College. More on where he’ll possibly fit in with Washington, per CSN Mid Atlantic:
He has played both center and wing in college and was thought to be a future NHL center. Washington’s recent push, however, may suggest the Caps have other plans.
With Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle, the Caps look set at center. The departure of Jason Chimera, however, has left an opening at left wing. While Sanford’s signing could be an attempt to shore up depth, it seems unlikely the Caps would have pushed so hard to sign a player just so he can spend the season in the AHL.
The Caps traded up three spots to take Sanford at the ’13 draft, so they’re clearly high on his potential. Washington was also very quiet in free agency — Brad Malone and Brett Connolly were the biggest additions up front — so it stands to reason that GM Brian MacLellan is looking for internal competition for spots at forward, which could play into Sanford’s favor.