Photo credit: @JessieMartin

After completing his four-year career with NCAA powerhouse Boston College that included two national championships and four Beanpots, Washington Capitals 2009 fourth-round pick Patrick Wey signed an entry-level contract with the team in April.

Wey, the oldest player participating in last week’s Development Camp, also his fifth, didn’t play in Hershey late last year due to thumb surgery. Now he’s expected to begin his AHL career this fall with the Hershey Bears, but it won’t be easy. He’s got stiff competition. With newly signed David Kolomatis and Tyson Strachan, the Capitals currently have nine defensemen under contract set to start the season in the minors, and two more have signed contracts with the Bears, Patrick Wellar and Michal Cajkovsky.

When RMNB’s Ian Oland asked the 22-year-old defenseman if he thinks the logjam is good for his development, he said, “Absolutely. I need an opportunity to be competitive and fight for a spot and it’s good. No matter where I am or what organization I am in, the sooner I have to fight for a spot and play my best, the better. So I’m excited to fight for a spot against all these good [players].”

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Photo credit: WHL Images

Washington Capitals’ 2012 seventh-round pick Jaynen Rissling, who impressed last year thanks to his grit and character, will return to his home province of Alberta for one more year with WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.

This year will be crucial for the development of the 6-foot-4, 223-pound defenseman as he’ll be playing not only for his team, but also for an entry-level contract with the Caps. And it’s gonna be a special year for him.

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Photo credit: @JessieMartin

Andre Burakovsky has been in North America for about a week, but he’s already made himself a new best friend. Rooming with fellow first-round pick Tom Wilson, the Austrian-born Swede was introduced to mac and cheese as he bonded with his new Canadian buddy. Well, RMNB’s Ian Oland asked Burakovsky if his bestie had him try any other new foods while he was here. The forward’s English isn’t perfect, but his answer was.

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Development Camp FanFest (24 of 28)

Caps prospects Tom Wilson and Madison Bowey celebrate the red team’s 6-4 scrimmage win. (Photos by Chris Gordon)

The Washington Capitals’ annual summer Development Camp for prospects and free agent invitees came to an end on Saturday. Fans packed Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the final scrimmage, an equipment sale, and an autograph signing from Steve Oleksy.

This was Stevie O’s first FanFest after his wild rise this past season and the level of fan attendance impressed the d-man.

“To see the support here at Kettler this weekend for the Fan Fest and watch the up and coming prospects really shows how passionate they are,” Oleksy told reporters. “When you walk into a building like this mid-summer and they’re at maximum capacity it’s a great feeling as a player.”

Below, take a look at my pictures from the day — you’re really just here for ones of Tom Wilson anyway.

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Madison Bowey (3 of 3)

Bowey defends during a scrimmage. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

Bowey defends during a scrimmage. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

The latest incarnation of Capitals Development Camp doesn’t have the star power of years past — there are no sure-fire stars like Nick Backstrom or exotic Russians like Evengy Kuznetsov. Still, there are surely some future pros skating at Kettler this week. In addition to the obvious ones — fellow first-round picks and polar opposites Tom Wilson and André Burakovsky — there are guys like Madison Bowey, a second-round selection (53th overall) at last month’s draft. Bowey is a fast, two-way defensemen who’s acquitted himself well playing for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL and Team Canada in the World Juniors. He’s also a pretty nice dude. Following the second-to-last scrimmage of Dev Camp, I chatted with the 18-year-old.

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Norwegian forward Andreas Martinsen is set to participate in the Capitals Development Camp, according to the official site of Lillehammer, his former team.

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Here comes one of the best parts of the offseason. The Caps have announced details for the 2012 Development Camp. All the on-ice stuff is open to the public, and it’s your chance to get to know some future stars before the cold hard world corrupts them. Plus, Mike Ribeiro will be there.

Here’s the schedule. The roster is past the jump. There’s even more on the Caps site.

Monday, July 9
Group A on ice at 9 a.m.;
Group B on ice at 10:45 a.m.;
Scrimmage at 3 p.m.

Tuesday, July 10
Group A on ice at 9 a.m.;
Group B on ice at 10:45 a.m.;
Scrimmage at 2:45 p.m.

Wednesday, July 11
Group A on ice at 8:50 a.m.;
Group B on ice at 10:50 a.m.

Thursday, July 12
Group B on ice at 9:15 a.m.;
Group A on ice at 10:45 a.m.;
Scrimmage at 3 p.m.

Friday, July 13
Scrimmage at 9:45 a.m.

Saturday, July 14
Scrimmage at 10 a.m.

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One-On-One Interview With Stanislav Galiev


The Washington Capitals selected Stanislav Galiev (friends call him “Stan”) as the 86th overall pick in the draft.  The baby-faced left winger from Moscow stood out during development camp as a competent skater, playmaker, and polyglot whiz.  He’s not a particularly big player (178 lbs), but Galiev’s personality is plenty big. Our girl Friday, Oksana Zolotar, chatted up Stan in his native tongue following Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Follow us past the jump to learn about his adoration of Alexander Semin, bulking up, and Russian camaraderie at dev camp.  If you missed Monday’s interview with Evgeny Kuznetsov, we politely remind you that this will all be on the final exam.

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One-On-One Interview with Evgeny Kuznetsov


Evgeny Kuznetsovs Awesome Crocs

Personality Defined: While we interviewed Evgeny, we noticed he wore white crocs with some stickers on them. Included were NY Yankees, Arizona Cardinals & Spider-Man logos and his number at development camp, 92.

If one player could be said to have stolen the limelight during Caps development camp, it must be Evgeny Kuznetsov.  The first-round draft pick scored a flurry of goals in scrimmages; invoked the ire of that other RMNB crush object, Braden Holtby; met with some Russian-language students from UMD, and even gorged on some cupcakes.  We wanted to pick Evgeny’s brain, but we were stifled by the language barrier.

Luckily, friend-of-the-blog and sage of all things Caps, Oksana Zolotar, helped us out.  In addition to having a truly awesome name, Oksana speaks fluent Russian.  We put the two kids together for a chat following Wednesday’s scrimmage (in which Evgeny went 2G-1A-3P).   Follow us past the jump to hear Evgeny discuss English, his ambitions, and his always cheerful attitude.

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First, we heard about it from Tarik.

Now, we’ve got video:

(All credit to Keith Mastromichails for the video.)

BB’s quote on that hit, as reported by the WP:

Kuznetsov is, skill-wise, pretty good. . .  I think we’ll have a word with Kuznetsov. Because in North America you can’t taunt or make funny moves. When he did that, he was having fun maybe, but he gave a little taunt to Holtby. After [the goal], he sort of went, ‘Ooooh’ and laughed him. That’s not going to go well with North American people. …And I’m going to have a little chat with Holtby.

We’ve spent the last week and change covering the Russian prospect Kuznetsov, but we’ve been chronicling the enigma that is Braden Holtby for months.  Both are undeniable talents with effusive personalities  So we’re torn.  What say you?

Update: Caps Snaps caught up with Holtby and Kuznetsov after the incident and got both sides of the story. Great read. Check it out here.