Capitals bring back 'Wrecker'

Capitals bring back 'Wrecker'
April 2, 2013, 2:45 pm

Remember Joel ‘The Wrecker” Rechlicz? He’s back.

In an exchange of AHL enforcers the Capitals have re-acquired forward Rechlicz from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Matt Clackson.

Rechlicz, 25, has 149 penalty minutes in 36 games with Portland of the American Hockey League this season, leading the team and ranking 15th in the league in that category.

Rechlicz made his Capitals debut under Dale Hunter last season and played in three games, recording 10 penalty minutes.

The Brookfield, Wisc., native has played in 26 NHL games with Washington and the New York Islanders, collecting one assist and 105 penalty minutes. In 158 career AHL games with Albany, Bridgeport, Hershey and Portland, Rechlicz has compiled two goals, two assists and 794 penalty minutes. The 6’4”, 220-pound forward originally signed with the New York Islanders on May 6, 2008.

Clackson recorded one goal, two assists and 36 penalty minutes in 19 games with Hershey this season.

The Capitals also signed free-agent defenseman Nate Schmidt to a two-year contract beginning this season. Schmidt will join the Capitals at practice on Wednesday.

The 6-foot, 195-pound defenseman spent this season with the University of Minnesota, registering 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) and 16 penalty minutes in 40 games. 

 Schmidt was named to the All-WCHA First Team after leading the league in scoring by a defenseman. Schmidt finished the season ranked tied for third among all NCAA defensemen with 32 points including a career-high nine goals. Schmidt also led all collegiate defensemen and ranked tied for sixth among all skaters with 19 power-play points this season. Schmidt finished the year with a plus-15 rating.

In 96 career games at Minnesota, Schmidt tallied 74 points (12 goals, 62 assists) as a two-time All-WCHA defenseman. In his final two seasons with the program, Schmidt and the Gophers won back-to-back MacNaughton Cups as Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season champions and made two trips to the NCAA tournament including the team’s run to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2011-12.

After appearing in 13 games split between forward and defense in 2010-11, Schmidt posted a breakout season in 2011-12 with a career-high 41 points. The All-WCHA Second Team selection led NCAA defensemen and finished third overall in the nation with 38 assists (the sixth-most assists in a season by a Gophers defenseman)

Schmidt participated in the Capitals’ 2012 Development Camp as a tryout.