CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Chris Brown
Age: 23 [turns 24 Feb. 3]
Ht/Wt: 6-2, 215
Penalty minutes: 0
Average Ice Time: 9:42
Contract Status: 2 years remaining on 3-year, $1.7 million entry-level contract [$853,333 cap hit in 2014-15]
Strengths: Brown was the key player in the March 4 trade that sent Marty Erat to the Phoenix Coyotes. A second-round pick of the Coyotes in 2009, Brown has played two years of pro hockey since leaving the University of Michigan. In his rookie season with the AHL Portland Pirates he put up 29 goals and 47 points in 68 games. This season, in 63 games split between Portland and the Hershey Bears he recorded 16 goals and 40 points.
Weaknesses: The book is still out on Brown and the fact he spent the 2013-14 season with four different teams [6 with Phoenix, 6 with the Caps, 51 with Portland and 12 with Hershey] may have contributed to his drop in offensive production.
Memorable Moment: On March 23, with the Caps trailing the San Jose Sharks by a goal with under 8 minutes remaining, Brown banked a shot off the chest of San Jose defenseman Matt Nieto and into the net for his first career NHL goal. It was a big one, sending the Caps into overtime and a shootout, where goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom sealed the Caps’ first win in San Jose since 1993. The two points also kept the Caps in the wild card race that eventually ended with them falling three points short.
Quotable: “When I got off the plane [from San Jose] I had so many text messages my phone exploded.”
2014-15 Expectations: It will be interesting to see if the Caps see Brown as a right wing or center. With Jay Beagle entrenched as a fourth-line center Brown could audition for a spot on the third line, depending on what the Capitals do with Mikhail Grabovski and Brooks Laich. Either way, this will be a very important summer and training camp for the 23-year-old native of Flower Mound, Texas.