Earlier this week, Fedor wrote an article on Caps Development Camp invitee Eliot Antonietti. We highlighted the fact that Antonietti is a defenseman, Swiss, and really, really tall. Pretty tame stuff if you ask me.
The post instantly became one of our most read articles of the entire offseason, linked on both Puck Daddy and Reddit. Some are now calling Antonietti The Swiss Chara because of his massive height, while others, such as RMNB reader AJ Kaiser, are more fascinated with his majestic beard.
On Tuesday, Kaiser went to Development Camp and something special happened.
After Antonietti was finishing skating with his group, he walked with his teammates towards the locker room. That’s when the Caps fan, relegated behind a large metal fence, called the behemoth over for an autograph. Antonietti obliged. As the gentle giant approached, Kaiser told him how big of a fan he was of his beard and wondered if he could get a special inscription on his photo. This is what he got back.
Eliot Antonetti #75
Antonietti would later retweet Kaiser’s photo of the autograph on his Twitter account, which of course is adorned with a timeline photo of Hagrid from Harry Potter.
“Everybody ask me how long I grow it,” Antonietti said of his beard, when asked by The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt on Wednesday. “I never shave it down. I always go to the barber shop and he’s making me clean and stuff. I had a bet with a friend in Geneva and now – I like it! Now it’s part of my personality. When you say ‘Eliot,’ it’s always: ‘the big guy with the beard.’ It’s me.”
Prewitt had more about Antonietti in his blog Thursday, including this photo.
"Everyone says, 'That's Eliot, the big guy with the beard.'" pic.twitter.com/sCn0KKa6iV
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) July 9, 2014
The Swiss speaking Antonietti also talked to the media about how he found his way in the United States for the first time in his life. “I just received an email from my agent that Washington wanted me to the camps,” he explained. Of the invite, he said, “it was good. I was happy. Maybe this is my chance. I’m going there and just make my best.”
Antonietti also described his style of game. “I’m tall,” which is not at all evident by looking at him. “I don’t play really tough, in Swiss we cannot fight. I already fight, but not too much. I play a lot offensive. I have good pass.”
Regardless of whatever happens to Antonietti after this week, he has become the breakaway star of the camp, merely by just being so towering, beard-y, and awesome. Seriously, watch this video. Try NOT to like him.