Welcome back, Tomas Kundratek. The Washington Capitals recalled the defenseman from the Hershey Bears on Monday and announced that Jack Hillen was placed on injured reserve.
Hillen was injured in Saturday night’s season-opening loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning; he appeared to be favoring his left shoulder. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound defenseman is listed as week-to-week.
Coach Adam Oates said there was no time frame on Hillen’s recovery.
Kundratek was named to the American Hockey League All-Star Game. The 23-year-old had 13 goals and 13 assists in 41 games.
“He’s been playing good down there, he’s a right-shot defenseman. We’re kind of short one,” Oates said. “He played a little bit here last year and just a little bit of balance.”
Kundratek played five games with the Caps last season.
Oates did not commit to playing seven defensemen like he did at Tampa Bay. That could mean another injury or a coach’s decision to put Kundratek in.
Kundratek said he wants to improve on his defensive play and plus-minus rating. He’s a minus-13 in Hershey, worst on the team.
Kundratek was on the ice for the latter part of Monday’s practice. He said he did not know whether he would play Tuesday night in the Caps’ home opener against the Winnipeg Jets.