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Get to Know a Bolt: Brayden Point

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As part of the build-up to the third-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Lightning, Japers’ Rink will be looking at some of the important Bolts players and how they might impact the series.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Brayden Point

#21 / Center

Height: 5’10” | Weight: 166 | Born: March 13, 1996

Birthplace: Calgary, AB, CAN | Acquired: Drafted by Tampa Bay 79th overall in 2014.

Assets: Generates solid offensive numbers, due to good offensive skills and loads of drive and determination. Is fairly feisty and unafraid of getting his nose dirty to win battles. Is also a tremendous two-way pivot at any level.

Flaws: Is small by NHL standards, so he must get stronger physically and prove he can continue to play with plenty of grit at the highest level over time. At times, his defensive commitments will come at the expense of offense.

Career Potential: Talented, all-around center with upside.

(Via The Hockey News)

Why You Should Know Who He Is: Point is every General Manager’s dream third round draft pick. On an entry level contract the second year professional has accumulated 106 points (50G, 56A) through 150 regular season contests. Even scarier is that in his first Stanley Cup Playoff run Point is a point-per-game player with ten (4G, 6A) in the same number of games. As recently as last series Point has been centering Tampa Bay’s second line between Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson. Point will get plenty of ice time from Jon Cooper throughout the series and he is more than capable of taking contests over with his speed and offensive output.

How the Caps Can Stop Him: Having Point center Tampa Bay’s second line is a luxury few teams have but one of them is Washington with Evgeny Kuznetsov and (assuming a return to relative health) Nicklas Backstrom. If both Capitals centers are in the lineup for Game One Washington would be wise to attack Tampa Bay’s top two lines with their own. Both Kuznetsov and Backstrom are capable of limiting Point and his line’s chances by possessing the puck and forcing them to chase and defend. If Backstrom remains sidelined Lars Eller will need to continue his elevated play on the second line and smother Point as a strong skating shutdown pivot. Washington’s defensemen will need to work in tandem with their centers to prevent Point from taking advantage of open ice in the offensive zone.