The Washington Capitals have sent forward Tom Wilson back to the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, according to an announcement by general manager George McPhee on Wednesday afternoon.
Wilson is likely the first of several junior players who will be re-assigned to their junior clubs.
With the regular season condensed to 48-games this year, it is likely that the majority of clubs will opt to have their signed junior prospects play out the year in juniors because they don't want to burn the first year of the player's entry-level contract during a shortened season.
In some cases, clubs might decide to have their junior players participate in the first five games of the regular season before re-assigning them. Prior to playing six games at the NHL level, junior players do not begin the first year of their contract and do not count against the salary cap.
Wilson was selected with the No. 16 overall selection by the Capitals in the 2012 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old has registered 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points this season with the Whalers.