Jurcina spent majority of the last season with TPS Turku of Finnish Liiga (Photo: Ilari Isotalo/Suomi Kiekko)
Ex-Caps defenseman Milan Jurcina has signed a tryout agreement with Dinamo Riga of the KHL, according to the club’s official site. The announcement states that Jurcina is on a tryout “for now,” so it’d come as no surprise if he soon signed a full contract.
Last Tuesday, Canada played the Czech Republic in National Junior Team Development Camp in Montreal. Because the Washington Capitals had two top picks from the 2014 draft, forward Jakub Vrana and goaltender Vitek Vanecek, playing, I recorded the game to take a closer look.
Vanecek allowed six goals on 37 shots in Canada’s 6-2 victory. With so much rubber going his way, the 18-year-old Czech had more than enough chances to display his strengths and weaknesses.
Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin continues to prepare for the season. After training at an undisclosed facility in (or near) Moscow last week, The Great Eight joined a Russian collegiate ice hockey team out on the Zvezda Ice Hall ice Monday in Moscow. Yes, instead of skating with KHL players, Ovechkin is now training with a bunch of future pilots at the Moscow Aviation Institute.
The Washington Capitals have signed 2014 third-round pick Nathan Walker to a three-year entry-level contract. The 20-year-old becomes the first-ever Australian national to sign with an NHL team. Crikey!
Walker made his preseason debut with the Caps last season, playing as an unrestricted free agent on a tryout contract. He was one of the more impressive players during camp, showing off his speed, tenacious forechecking, and skill. His through-the-legs pass to Tom Wilson for a goal appeared on SportsCenter last September.
After spending most of 2013-14 with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, Capitals’ center prospect Michael Latta is now poised to gain a full-time roster spot in Washington next season. Acquired at the 2013 trade deadline in the infamous Forsberg-Erat trade, Latta had one goal and four points in 17 NHL games last season but left a good impression, winning 52.2% of his face-offs and playing an effective, physical game on the fourth line. Latta was one of the team’s best players at drawing penalties, leading the team in penalty differential.
The Washington Capitals invited free agent defenseman Eliot Antonietti to Development Camp, which began on Monday. Standing six-foot-six and weighing 236 pounds, Antonietti is an undrafted defenseman who just happens to be humangas big. Despite his young age (he’s just 21), he already has professional experience having played 108 games in the Swiss top pro league, the NLA, one of the best leagues in Europe.
The Washington Capitals have addressed their defensive woes in the worst way possible, signing former Penguin Brooks Orpik to a five-year, $27.5-million disaster of a deal.
Orpik, 33, has never played a full NHL season. He was a defensive defenseman in Pittsburgh, logging over 20 minutes a night. He has been outshot his whole career and hasn’t posted a positive relative possession score.
In Washington, he will likely will be used as a second pairing defenseman.
Let’s review Orpik’s career and his new contract:
Orpik played at the 2014 Olympics, maybe because the coach was Dan Bylsma.