Photo: AP/Winslow Townson

The Capitals have signed forward Caleb Herbert from the University of Minnesota-Duluth to an entry-level contract beginning next season, according to the official press release. The 22-year-old, who was drafted by the Caps 142nd overall in 2010, spent the past three years with the Bulldogs. He completed his NCAA career with 89 points in 112 games. Before that, he spent a season with USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. He was originally drafted out of the Bloomington Jefferson High School.

Herbert is a heart and soul player who can effectively forecheck due to his good skating ability. During the past season, he spent a lot of time in the sin bin with 85 penalty minutes, sixth most in the nation.

Two of his goals this season were nominated for NCHC fan-selected Goal of the Year honors.

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Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Capitals first-round pick Andre Burakovsky has completed his first regular season in North America. The OHL’s Erie Otters, led by Burakovsky, the Leafs’ Connor Brown, the Canucks’ Dane Fox and 2015 Draft top prospect Connor McDavid, have finished third in the Western Conference and fourth in CHL Team Rankings.

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Miami University Redhawks mob Riley Barber after his OT game-winner. (Photo: Miami University)

Capitals prospects Riley Barber, Thomas DiPauli, and Austin Wuthrich all found their way on the scoresheet in the first games of the NCAA conference quarterfinals, each contributing to their teams’ upset wins. Miami beat St. Cloud State in a dramatic game, 4-3 in overtime, while Notre Dame convincingly defeated Boston College in the Holy War on Ice 7-2. Continue Reading

 

Tom Wilson Is One Of The Most Penalized Rookies Ever

Wilson has an intimate chat with Claude Giroux. (Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Well, here’s something incredible we’ve uncovered about Tom Wilson.

Playing the Florida Panthers on February 27th, Wilson’s third-period slash on Brian Campbell put him at 112 penalty minutes on the year. Those two PIMs helped Wilson overtake the teenager penalty minutes record since 2004-05.

That mark was previously held by — you’ll never guess.

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Washington Capitals top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov returned to action following KHL Olympic break on Wednesday as Traktor Chelyabinsk faced reigning champions Dynamo Moscow in a Gagarin Cup re-match. Traktor, still battling for a postseason spot, gave the champions a battle but fell 5-3 in a high scoring affair.

Despite being one of the best players on the ice, Kuznetsov was unable to snap his goalless streak, now at 12 games (his last goal came on November 28th). But at least he keeps racking up the assists.

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wey

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

The Capitals had a hard time getting offensive opportunities early in Thursday’s Caps-Jets game, but a wild scrum in front of Ondrej Pavelec during the first period was a chance to change all that. Somehow, inexplicably, the Jets kept the puck from crossing the goal line. Dustin Byfuglien, the Jets’ 6’5″, 265-pound defenseman-turned-forward (or vice versa… I’m confused), finally broke out and got the puck in neutral while facing down rookie blueliner Patrick Wey, whom Big Buff hit rather rudely just ten seconds earlier.

Wey got his revenge.

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Washington Capitals Prospect Rankings: Winter 2014

Chandler Stephenson has been one of the most impressive Caps prospects this season (Photo: Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The first half of the 2013-14 season has been mostly positive for Washington Capitals prospects. Unknowns like Andre Burakovsky and Chandler Stephenson have shown real NHL potential, while the elder statesmen of the pool like Nate Schmidt and Patrick Wey, both coming off tremendous college careers, have made steps up the Caps’ depth chart.

However, top two Caps prospects will wish their first half was better: Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s injuries have limited his action and Tom Wilson has had a hard time gaining a meaningful role with the big club.

The feel-good story of the season so far has been Stephenson, who had been bugged by injuries in the past, but is now thriving in a veteran role as an offensive go-to guy for his team. I’ve got more on these stories and our full top-20 ranking below. Continue Reading

Evgeny Kuznetsov scores the shootout game-winner. (Photo: Metallurg Novokuznetsk)

Last Wednesday, Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov made a lot of Caps fans happy when he tweeted out his US visa application form. After three years of waiting, it seems Kuznetsov is finally ready to come to the NHL.

Caps fans, however, may have been the only ones happy about the tweet. A half an hour after publishing the photo, Kuznetsov deleted the tweet. We do not know why he took it down. It’s possible Traktor’s management and coaching staff had issues with their best player announcing his imminent departure while his team is still playing.

Over the weekend, Kuzya told Sport-42.ru that his comments about coming to America have caused backlash. He also assured fans that he would give it his all during Traktor’s hunt for the playoffs.

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Translation: I’m not evil, I’m good!

A day after revealing his plans to come to America, future Washington Capitals forward (that feels good to write) Evgeny Kuznetsov played his first game in a month. Kuzya had been out with a left leg injury that required surgery in Germany. While Kuznetsov was wearing knee wrap on the plane yesterday, he felt good enough to play in the opening game of the most difficult road trip of the year for any KHL team. Traktor is heading to Novosibirsk, Novokuznetsk, Khabarovsk, and Vladivostok — aka the middle of nowhere.

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Earlier today, we published a Russian interview with Evgeny Kuznetsov in which he repeated his desire to come to America. Speaking to R-Sport, Kuzya said he had broken off contract negotiations with Traktor Chelyabinsk and no amount of money would keep him from emigrating after this season.

Ahead of Sunday’s game with the New York Rangers, Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lynsekov spoke to Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin after the morning skate. He asked him about Kuznetsov’s comments.

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