chandler-stephenson

On Wednesday, Washington Capitals third-round pick Chandler Stephenson played in his first game as a Hershey Bear. His team battled the Norfolk Admirals, with whom they were tied in points for eighth and final postseason spot but held the tiebreaker, on the road.

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Photo: Brynas IF

The 2013-14 season was a breakout year for Capitals prospect Christian Djoos. His ice time with Brynas of SHL went up from 15:35 in the previous regular season to 17:16 this year. He scored more too, getting 13 points (a goal and 12 assists) in 47 games after just eight a year ago. Also importantly, Djoos cut down on time spent in the penalty box– four minutes as opposed to 48 last season.

Djoos took over the leading role on his team’s blue line in the postseason, logging 23:26 in the playoffs as a teenager in one of the best leagues in the world. He also had a notable performance at home World Juniors, scoring a goal and getting an assist in Sweden’s disappointing goal medal game loss.

Djoos’ increased role in the postseason could be attributed to an injury to Ryan Gunderson, a University of Vermont graduate and a Brynas’ leader on the blueline for the last three seasons. Next season, Gunderson won’t be with Brynas as he’s signed with KHL newcomer Jokerit Helsinki. That gives Djoos a chance to establish himself as an elite SHL defenseman.

The Washington Capitals have until June 1st to sign Djoos, whom they selected in the seventh round of 2012 Draft. There’s been little information on whether the Caps are interested in bringing him into the organization. It’s clear that he’s not leaving Brynas, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be on loan from a NHL club or unattached.

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Burakovsky celebrates his goal.

Just one day after snapping a three-game pointless streak, Capitals prospect Andre Burakovsky added two more points, a goal and an assist, to his playoff stat line. In doing so, Burakovsky helped the Erie Otters to a series win over the Greyhounds. Continue Reading

 

caleb-herbert

Photo: Kyle Mace

Newly-signed Capitals prospect Caleb Herbert had a fantastic debut with the Hershey Bears last Wednesday, picking up two points in a 3-2 win over the Portland Pirates. The 22-year-old forward recently finished his junior season at University of Minnesota-Duluth before opting to turn pro this spring.

“It was an exciting day when I found out I was going to be in the lineup,” Herbert told Patriot-News’ Tim Leone. “It was kind of a shock. Not really a shock, but my head was kind of spinning all day. I was thinking about the game all day. It was kind of tough to settle down.”

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Photo: Erie Highlight Reel

Capitals first-round pick Andre Burakovsky was dominant late in the OHL regular season, and he has kept that trend going in the playoffs. In two games against the Saginaw Spirit, Burakovsky scored three goals, turning the Otters’ second line into a lethal weapon. (You know you have deep forward corps when your team can put both him and Brendan Gaunce on the second line.)

The Erie Otters won both games with a final score of 4-3, the second game decided in overtime. The third game will be held on Monday at 7:11 PM ET.

Burakovsky is currently tied for first in goals in these still-young OHL playoffs.

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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

 

evgeny-kuznetsov

Photo: HCTraktor.ru

Now that Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov has made it clear he’s coming to DC, the only question left is when. If his KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, makes the playoffs, his journey to North America will be delayed.

On Friday morning, the picture became more clear as Traktor Chelyabinsk defeated Vityaz Chekhov, 3-2, two days after falling to defending champion Dynamo 5-3. Kuznetsov continued some great play, recording a “secondary” assist on (former Capital) Jan Bulis‘ first period goal. He also recorded two shots on goal and lost all three of his face-offs in 20:55 of ice time — most among any Traktor forward.

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evgeny-kuznetsov

On Thursday, Traktor Chelyabinsk released a long interview with Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov. It covers a wide range of topics. It’s essentially a goodbye from the club.

Kuznetsov speaks about his impending to move to the NHL, saying, “I don’t think it’s a secret for anybody.” He also says that he and his wife will live with Alex Ovechkin when they arrive in Washington. It also appears that Traktor’s final home game on March 4th (next Tuesday) is going to have special significance. Kuznetsov says he is inviting all of his friends to the game and half-jokingly asks to be captain just for that night — saying it would be a dream come true.

With Kuznetsov making such a big deal out of the team’s final regular season game in Chelyabinsk, it also seems to indicate that he may have a deal of some sort to skip the Nadezhda Cup, the KHL’s “loser” tournament for teams that don’t make the playoffs.

Igor Kleyner has a partial translation of the article.

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