Lost in yesterday’s Adam Oates news was another piece of nostalgia. As first reported by Josh Brown of the Waterloo Region Record, son of Caps’ legend Al Iafrate, Max, has been invited to the Capitals Development Camp being held from July 9th to July 14th.
A defenseman just like his father, Max Iafrate spent the entire 2011-12 season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers after being traded from the Plymouth Whalers [Ed note: Max played in Plymouth together with Caps’ first-round pick, Tom Wilson].
In 62 games, the hulking defenseman scored 6 goals and recorded 16 points, good for 18th among defensemen under 18 years of age. Surprisingly, Iafrate went undrafted despite being ranked as the 70th North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. He also was invited to the NHL Combine, where he made the top-10 in two events: the VO2 max test for duration (tied for tenth with 1st overall selection Nail Yakupov) and the bench press (his number of reps tied him for the eighth place).
Iafrate has an impressive frame (6’2″, 220 lbs) and the similarities between him and his father are eerie. Just like pops, Max isn’t afraid of the rough stuff (he had 97 PIMs in the last OHL season, second among U18 d-men), he has a big, booming shot (well, maybe not as big, but still) and he wears #34. His physical presence is always felt and he knows how to use his size.
His father Al played four seasons with the Capitals and scored 58 goals. Though many aspects of Max’s game are still very raw, he’s a player who has a lot of potential and could also have an impact in the NHL someday.