Photo credit: @JessieMartin
After completing his four-year career with NCAA powerhouse Boston College that included two national championships and four Beanpots, Washington Capitals 2009 fourth-round pick Patrick Wey signed an entry-level contract with the team in April.
Wey, the oldest player participating in last week’s Development Camp, also his fifth, didn’t play in Hershey late last year due to thumb surgery. Now he’s expected to begin his AHL career this fall with the Hershey Bears, but it won’t be easy. He’s got stiff competition. With newly signed David Kolomatis and Tyson Strachan, the Capitals currently have nine defensemen under contract set to start the season in the minors, and two more have signed contracts with the Bears, Patrick Wellar and Michal Cajkovsky.
When RMNB’s Ian Oland asked the 22-year-old defenseman if he thinks the logjam is good for his development, he said, “Absolutely. I need an opportunity to be competitive and fight for a spot and it’s good. No matter where I am or what organization I am in, the sooner I have to fight for a spot and play my best, the better. So I’m excited to fight for a spot against all these good [players].”
“Nothing is set at this point,” Wey said of his destination for next year. “I’m looking forward to turn pro and see where I can go from there.”
Wey, who won Hockey East’s Defensive Defenseman of the Year honors last season, said his play is comparable to that of Karl Alzner. During Development Camp, however, Wey also showed off some fancy puck-moving skills. “I need to keep working on keeping my game simple and keeping some of that skill at the high levels as the guys get bigger and faster,” he said. “I think that’s one thing that’s good about my game is that it’s not too much skill and it’s not really flashy so the faster I get and the stronger I get I can make that jump to higher levels a little bit easier.”
When talking about his hockey heroes growing up, Wey said he really liked Scott Stevens as a kid. “The older I got the more I got into the guys like Rob Scuderi,” he continued. “Guys that are really simple, guys that you don’t even notice unless you’re looking for them. He plays a little more the way I play. I think right now Rob Scuderi is my favorite guy”.
Players like Scuderi, who possess solid skating and hockey IQ but put emphasis on defensive play, are an order of the day in today’s NHL and Wey certainly hopes that trend will help him find his spot in the big league.