Steve Oleksy capitalizing on NHL opportunity

Steve Oleksy (Photo: Michael Miller via Wikimedia Commons)

Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy took longer than most to make it to the NHL.

His age says it all - there simply aren't many 27-year-old rookies in the league.

After finally getting a much deserved shot, though, he's capitalizing on his opportunity with the Washington Capitals.

"It's been quite a whirlwind to get called up late in the season," Oleksy said.

After suiting up for for at{ } nine minor league, college and amateur teams since 2005, Oleksy signed a three-year entry level contract with Washington on March 3. At one point, he even suited up for a pro-shop chain in his home state of Michigan.

But once he got to Washington, there was no looking back, and he has become a key member of the Capitals blue line corps. He has 9 points in 28 games with the Caps and has posted a +9 plus/minus average, putting him among the team leaders.

"To be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way," Oleksy said. "You really appreciate things a lot more when you have played at every level and the not-so-glorious days in the minors. The opportunity to play in the playoffs is unbelievable."