Matt Niskanen D WAS 29 Days

Niskanen picked up three assists in Friday's win over the Islanders.

Niskanen has heated up lately, tallying a goal and five points in his last three games. The 27-year-old now has 10 points (one goal) in 22 games this season, to go with a minus-2 rating. Niskanen has been very streaky this season, but considering he is playing alongside Alex Ovechkin on the top power-play unit, it's possible the former Penguin hits 40 points in his first campaign with Washington.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 1 Month

Niskanen scored his first goal of the season in Saturday's loss to Buffalo. It took him 20 games to notch the goal.

The Caps thought they were getting so much more when they inked him this summer, especially after last year's 10-goal, 46-point effort. So far, he has just six points and cannot be trusted to deliver fantasy value ... at least at this point.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 2 Months

Niskanen picked up a pair of assists in the second period of Friday's 3-2 win over Chicago.

The helpers snapped a five-game pointless streak for Niskanen, who has now posted five points in 13 games with his new club. Perhaps most alarming are his lack of shots on goal (13) after averaging two per game (162 in 81) with the Penguins last year. Furthermore, Mike Green and John Carlson are the top offensive weapons on Washington's blue line, so it's starting to look like "Nisky" could end up as a significant fantasy bust this season after a 46-point, plus-33 breakout last year.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 2 Months

Niskanen picked up his first points of the year Thursday against the Devils, notching a pair of assists.

After a career year of 10 goals and 46 points for the rival Penguins last year, Niskanen signed with Washington and delivered a quiet first three games, so it's good to see him get in on the action a little more.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 3 Months

Niskanen got an assist and logged over 25 minutes of ice-time in the Capitals' 5-4 OT win over the Bruins on Friday.

Signed to a massive seven year contract earlier this summer, Niskanen has displayed the kind of poise and puck-moving skills that made him such a highly sought after commodity in free agency. Niskanen has been a solid player thus far in preseason, and looks to be a fixture in the team's top defensive pairings. However, his fantasy upside hinges significantly on his role with the power-play, and it is still not clear whether he will spend significant time with Alex Ovechkin on the team's top unit. Given that he is going in the top-10 amongst defensemen after posting career numbers last season, Niskanen has the potential to have a great season, but carries some risk at this stage of preseason.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 6 Months

Part of the reason Matt Niskanen decided to sign a seven-year, $40.25 million contract with the Capitals was the presence of head coach Barry Trotz.

Trotz is very well-respected in hockey circles after the success he managed to achieve during his tenure in Nashville and this was very much part of Niskanen's thought process. "I heard nothing but great things about Barry Trotz and the way things are going there," Niskanen said after signing with the club. In addition, both Brooks Orpik and newly-signed backup goaltedner Justin Peters admitted they were swayed by a conversation they had with Trotz before signing in Washington as free agents.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 6 Months

Matt Niskanen knows that his new contract carries higher expectations and he feels he will be up for the challenge.

"I've played essentially top-four minutes for 80 percent of the year last year. I had a lot of responsibility and at times I was the oldest defenseman by far on our team and our team had a lot of success," he said. "I had a good year. It definitely was a breakout year, and now the challenge for me is to try to keep moving forward. That's one thing me and Todd [Reirden] talked about, how do you get a little better this week, this season. I look forward to working with him some more." The two of them have a relationship from back in Pittsburgh. Niskanen amassed 10 goals, 46 points and a plus-33 rating in 81 games last season.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 6 Months

Washington assistant coach Todd Reirden had a lot to do with the team's signing of Matt Niskanen.

Before joining he Capitals, he was an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins so he is very familiar with Niskanen. "We've scouted Matt for a long time too," GM Brian MacLellan said. "We had some questions on this is a big year for him, he had a good year, he had a good year two years ago, but Todd Reirden our defense coach had a lot of input on why his game was where it is and why he believed it would stay at this level. So we trusted Todd's opinion on that." Niskanen enjoyed a career year offensively with the Penguins last season and he was the top free agent defenseman on the market.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 6 Months1 Comment

The Washington Capitals have locked up Matt Niskanen to a seven-year deal worth $40.25 million.

"We are very excited that Matt Niskanen has chosen to sign with Washington," said GM Brian MacLellan. "At 27 years of age, he is just entering his prime for a defenseman. We feel he will be a staple on our blueline for many years to come. We have stated all along that upgrading the defense was our top priority this offseason and we feel we accomplished our goal with our signings today." He racked up 10 goals and 46 points in 81 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. Niskanen will add another weapon to Washington's top-raked power play.

Matt Niskanen D WAS 6 Months

The Washington Capitals are one team that's showing interest in UFA Matt Niskanen.

The Capitals need help on their blueline and Niskanen is a good puck moving defenseman. The problem could be the length of the contract as Niskanen could get seven years from one team and the Capitals may not want to go more than five. It should be interesting as free agency starts Tuesday at noon Eastern.