The Washington Capitals continued to be aggressive early in the college free agent market. A week after signing Alaska-Anchorage’s Mason Mitchell, the Capitals announced that they have signed Lake Superior State freshman defenseman Kris Bindulis and Merrimack senior forward Hampus Gustafsson to entry-level contracts.
Bindulis came to the Lakers after an impressive stint in the NAHL, where he was one of the league’s top defensemen two years ago. This past year, Bindulis scored a goal and 10 assists for 11 points for Lake Superior State. Listed at 6-3 180 lbs., Bindulis is a good skater for his size and brings considerable physical presence for an offensive-minded defenseman. He struggled on the defensive end in his first college season, and still has a lot of work to do in that area, but has the raw potential to be an effective pro with time and development.
Gustafsson put together a 15-11-26 scoring line in 36 games this year. He was second in scoring for the Warriors and the team’s leading goal scorer. At 6-4 205 lbs., Gustafsson is a prototypical power forward that is a big, strong presence around the net. His skating is an area that will need improvement to make it at the NHL level. While he lacks elite hands, he is good at collecting hard-working garbage goals in front of the net.
Both players signed two-year contracts that will begin next season. They will report to AHL affiliate Hershey for the rest of the season on a tryout agreement.