There was a time not too long ago that Semyon Varlamov was one of the most prized prospects in the Washington Capitals organization. But over time, as his young career was beset by injuries and he slipped down the depth chart, the netminder was in search of a fresh start.

Varlamov received one last July when the Capitals traded the Russian goaltender to the Colorado Avalanche for a first-round selection in the 2012 NHL entry draft, along with their choice of a second-round pick in either 2012 or 2013.

On Saturday in Denver, the Capitals may have the chance to see how their former first-round draft pick looks in the opposing net.

"It's going to be exciting, obviously," said Michal Neuvirth, who is expected to start in goal for the Capitals in Colorado and spent the earliest years of his professional career competing with Varlamov for top billing in Washington. "I'm not sure if he's going to play, but we'll see. I want to see him, talk to him after the game and see how he's doing. It would be a special game [to face Varlamov], but I'm going to focus on my game and these things I can't let bother me."

It has been a rough start to the season for Colorado, which will enter the matchup against the Capitals with a 14-17-1 record and, entering Friday's games, ranked 25th in the NHL. The season has not been much kinder to Varlamov, who signed a three-year, $8.5 million contract with the Avalanche over the summer.