Photo: RRBG Photography
In May, Fedor broke the news that Slovenian center Jan Urbas had agreed to a try-out agreement with the Washington Capitals. In July, the six-foot, three-inch, 218-pound forward made his debut in a Caps jersey at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in the team’s Development Camp.
Skating on the first line between Andre Burakovsky and Jakub Vrana (the Capitals last two first-round selections), the 25-year-old got a good look at the team’s future, mentoring two of the Caps’ biggest offensive prospects in the system. The line dominated throughout the wee as Urbas showed off his offensive flair and puck-pressuring skill. For a better idea of how he plays, think Jeff Halpern in his prime, but with less goal scoring ability.
First recruited by Steve Richmond (the Capitals’ director of player development) in Germany, Urbas got on scouts’ radars with his play in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Despite playing in the 7th highest league in the world (DEL), Urbas was solid in the Olympics, scoring a shorthanded goal and helping Slovenia make it to the quarterfinals for the first time ever.
I had the chance to talk to Urbas after Development Camp concluded. The center talked in great detail about his experience in the Olympics and the hero’s welcome he received when the Olympic team got home. He also shared his thoughts on Burakovsky and Vrana’s future–as well as an update on if the Caps had reached out to him with a deal.
The Capitals’ NHL blue line is the deepest it has been in years, and the farm is starting to get stacked with defensive prospects as well. Nate Schmidt, Patrick Wey, and Connor Carrick have each shown that they will soon be ready to take the next step. Also developing rapidly: 2013 second-round pick Madison Bowey.
During last week’s Development Camp, the 19-year-old was one of the most mature prospects out on the ice. He dominated Saturday’s scrimmage, creating a number of chances on the rush.
Bowey’s most creative effort came early, a ridiculous no-look pass that led to Nathan Walker’s goal.
During last week’s Development Camp, the Washington Capitals took the prospects to a Washington Nationals game. Unfortunately, the game got rained out (so the Nats were spared a beatdown from the Orioles). Before the game was called, Caps 2013 first round pick, Andre Burakovsky wandered from the group and took a photo with George Washington, one of the Nats’ five racing presidents. I cannot tell a lie: this photo is majestic.
Photo: Chris Gordon
I attended Fanfest at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday, and it was adorbs as usual. After Team White won 7-4, the prospects headed to the locker room. Hearing his name called by the fans amassing at the railing nearby, first-round pick Jakub Vrana broke from the pack to sign autographs. Nearby, and not needing an invitation of his own, the six-foot, six-inch behemoth Eliot Antonietti walked off the ice and made a bee line to his people.
After being one of the most talked about prospects during the week (due to his massive beard and massive height), The Swiss Chara gave his game-used sticks to fans– including one to a teeny tiny Caps fan.
Earlier Sunday, I documented one fan’s Caps Equipment Sale treasure: Mikhail Grabovski’s misspelled locker room name plate.
Here’s one more. Judy N. went to Fanfest and grabbed some goalie pads. But they were no ordinary goalie pads. She explains below.
The Washington Capitals misspelled Mikhail Grabovski‘s jersey nameplate a couple times last season (1, 2). It was funny, but not a big deal. With players from countries that use the Cyrillic alphabet, I and Y endings are interchangeable when translated into English. Each player chooses how he’d like it to be translated.
The Caps’ mistake was innocent, but it turns out it wasn’t limited to Grabovski’s jersey. RMNB reader Jacob explains.
Photos by Chris Gordon.
On Saturday, the Washington Capitals held their annual Fanfest at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Hundreds of Caps fans packed into the practice rink to see Riley Barber’s Team White defeat Andre Burakovsky’s Team Red 7-4. Before the action, Ted Leonsis presented a $105,000 check to TAPS, a non-profit organization that provides comfort and care for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the military. There also was the equipment sale (okay, who grabbed all of the Kuznetsov sticks?) and autograph signings with Barry Trotz and all of the prospects. New Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen also met with the media for the first time.
All in all, it was a fun day — like have you seen our Twitter pics? Below, check out my photos from the day, and in the comments let us know what your favorite moment was. (Also, please, someone give Ian one of the Kuznetsov sticks.)
Photos by Chris Gordon.
Barry Trotz wants to turn Caps Development Camp into a more polished affair, with NHL players coming in as mentors and a focus on improving little aspects each player’s game. On Saturday, the team concluded the annual camp. In addition to the final scrimmage of week, the Caps also their annual fanfest in a packed Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Though Team Red was stocked with first round picks Andre Burakovsky and Jakob Vrana, the White Team took hold of the game in the third period, scoring third goals on the route to a 7-4 win. After the game, Caps owner Ted Leonsis presented prospect Madison Bowey with the winner’s trophy, before the team held a bit of mock Stanley Cup celebration. Check out my photos below.
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.
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