Caps ink NCAA standouts Bindulis, Gustafsson

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Washington continued to be a major player in the college free agent pool on Tuesday, signing Lake Superior d-man Kris Bindulis and Merrimack forward Hampus Gustafsson to two-year, entry level contracts.

The pair will immediately report to AHL Hershey.

Bindulis, 21, is probably the more enticing prospect. The lanky Latvian (6-foot-3, 181 pounds) is a raw talent, making the leap to pro hockey after just one year at the collegiate level. He caught management’s eye while participating in Washington’s prospect development camp last summer.

“I really enjoyed my time over there,” Bindulis said, per the Washington Post. “It’s a really high-level in the NHL. Everything was really professional and coaches were really professional. I enjoy my time being over there. … I’m humbled and grateful for the incredible opportunity that they gave me to become a professional hockey player.”

Gustafsson, 23, was shortlisted as a Hobey Baker Award finalist after scoring 15 goals and 26 points in 36 games for Merrimack this season. Another big body — 6-foot-4, 205 pounds — Gustafsson just wrapped his fourth year of college hockey, having previously played for IF Troja-Ljungby in his native Sweden.

Last week, the Caps kicked off their collegiate free agent signing period by inking Alaska-Anchorage forward Mason Mitchell.

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