Häman Aktell, 25, didn’t make the Capitals’ opening night roster this season after signing a one-year, $870K entry-level contract in free agency. However, the former Predators prospect earned a recall just a handful of days into the year after notching a goal in two games with AHL Hershey and has remained on the roster since. The Swedish two-way puck mover had a strong preseason but earned only a limited look at the NHL level during his call-up, notching an assist and a -2 rating in six contests while averaging 10:38 per game.
Washington opted to sign Häman Aktell in free agency after he won two Swedish Hockey League championships in the last three seasons with Växjö Lakers HC, finishing second on the team in points with 36 in 51 games last year. As he does not require waivers, he was a logical choice to take off the 23-man roster, with both Anthony Mantha and Trevor van Riemsdyk being activated from IR ahead of tomorrow’s game versus the Blue Jackets, per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.
Mantha, 29, had missed the past three games after taking a puck to the ear on November 8 against the Panthers and is projected to play a fourth-line role with Nic Dowd and Beck Malenstyn. Signed to a $5.7MM cap hit on an expiring deal, Mantha’s had another rough go of things to start 2023-24, recording just four points in ten games and seeing his ice time dip below 13 minutes per game. The 6-foot-5, 234-pound winger has played just 128 games with the Capitals since they acquired him via trade from the Red Wings three seasons ago, recording 62 points.
Meanwhile, van Riemsdyk is also returning to the 23-man roster after missing the past four contests with a lower-body injury sustained on November 4 against the Blue Jackets. The 32-year-old signed a three-year, $9MM extension to remain in D.C. last March and has one assist and a -1 rating through ten games, averaging 17:35 per contest. The nine-year veteran will form the right side of the team’s third pairing tomorrow with 2018 first-round pick Alexander Alexeyev on his left flank.