- The Washington Times - Friday, February 17, 2017

As the Washington Capitals return from their bye week, two forwards will be joining them from the Hershey Bears.

The Capitals announced that forwards Zach Sanford and Jakub Vrana have been recalled from the AHL.

With Andre Burakovsky out of the lineup until at least mid-march with a hand injury, a forward had to be brought up.

Both Sanford and Vrana already have NHL experience as rookies this year.

Sanford has participated in 21 games this season, scoring a goal and recording an assist. His goal was the game winner against the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 11. After starting the season on the Capitals roster, Sanford was sent to Hershey on Nov. 30, and as a Bear, Sanford has 11 goals and five assists in 25 games. This is the third times the Capitals have recalled Sanford from Hershey this season.

Vrana has played in 12 games this season with Washington, recording a goal and two assists. This season with Hershey, Vrana has 13 goals and 12 assists in 33 games. This is the third time the Capitals have recalled Vrana from the AHL this season.

In the first game Burakovsky missed with his injury, it was Sanford who filled in against the Ducks. However, Sanford was already recalled to the roster prior to Burakovsky’s injury, and coach Barry Trotz didn’t see an additional roster move as a necessity, and Sanford filled in on the third line.

Trotz hinted following Burakovsky’s injury that Vrana may see a bit of time on the third line. Drafted with the Capitals’ 13th-overall pick in 2014, Vrana represents the Capitals’ best offensive prospect. 

Vrana plays a very similar style to Burakovsky, while Sanford relies a bit more on his size — he stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 203 pounds — and plays a bit more of a power game. 

Depending on the opponent, or whether or not Trotz wants his third line of Brett Connolly and Lars Eller to play a similar style as they did with Burakovsky in the lineup, both Vrana and Sanford could see a great deal of playing time over the next month or so.

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