Photo: Linnea Nyangen / Orebro Hockey
The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers reported yesterday that the Caps are believed to be in the mix for Derek Ryan, a 28-year-old American center who led the Swedish Hockey League in scoring last year, following a report by Elliotte Friedman about NHL clubs’ interest in Ryan in early May.
The Avalanche are the likely frontrunners for Ryan’s services and the Leafs are another team reported to be looking at the Spokane-born forward.
Like Chambers, I do not think Ryan will make the NHL out of the training camp, and whoever gets him can’t pencil him in as an NHL player. In fact, I think it’s quite unlikely that he’ll ever become a full-time NHL player. But even if he doesn’t, there are other benefits from signing him.
Photo: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey
The Hershey Bears had a big night on Friday. They won 10-4, completing the best-of-five series against the Worchester Sharks in round one in four games.
Casey Wellman led the way with three goals and an assist, Chris Brown scored twice, Nate Schmidt, Cameron Schilling, Tim Kennedy, and Jakub Vrana all had three points in the game. Vrana also scored his first AHL goal.
The other goal-scorers included Dustin Gazley and Liam O’Brien.
Vrana battles Andrew Gordon. (Photo: Jeremy Long/Lebanon Daily News)
Washington Capitals 2014 first-round pick Jakub Vrana has had a strong start to his North American career. After scoring 12 goals and 12 assists in 44 SHL games, Vrana arrived in Hershey on April 9. Since then he’s dominated the AHL, registering five assists in three games, including a three-point performance on Saturday that landed him first star of the game honors. Coach Troy Mann has Vrana playing left wing on the second line along with veterans Jim O’Brien and Casey Wellman. As you can tell, it’s going splendidly.
Since we know you guys are more of a visual crowd, here’s GIFs of all of Vrana’s delicious apples. He wears #39.
Photo: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey
Friday night in Portland, Maine, one Washington Capitals prospect had an odd milestone. 2013 first-round pick Andre Burakovsky scored his first American Hockey League goal. In an odd twist, it came 163 days after his first NHL goal earlier this season.
Much like Jay Beagle, I discarded my dearest flipper this season and traded it in for an iPhone 6. On Saturday, I went to the Hershey Bears game and went crazy with its video settings and some attachable camera lenses I bought. The results were incredible.
From my glass side seats I captured Mike Moore‘s overtime game-winning goal and the Bears subsequent celebration. Like they celebrated freaking inches from me. While I didn’t notice it live, former Caps enforcer Liam O’Brien kissed Moore on the noggin. Also, I’ve never seen Philipp Grubauer so excited in my life.
No matter if it was Steve Oleksy doing a double skate stop in front of the net or Connor Carrick flipping the puck to himself skating up the ice, there are so many amazing things we miss in hockey at full speed. So I slowed them down.
Here are the Hershey Bears in slow-motion.
Photo: Hershey Bears
Nathan Walker is the first Australian to be drafted by an NHL team. Someday he’ll be the first Australian to play in the NHL, but right now, Walker is the first Australian to play in the American Hockey League.
The Hershey Bears are doing something to honor that fact. On Saturday, the Bears will be giving snow globes away to the first 5,000 fans.
The globes will showcase Walker. Also: a kangaroo.
I’m not making this up. Look at this zoomed-in photo below. That really is a kangaroo.
Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
Remember a few weeks ago when we wrote about Stan Galiev scoring 3 goals in 3 games for Hershey? That torrid streak continued to 8 goals in 8 games before snapping this past weekend.
Galiev, who has 9 goals and 4 assists, is ranked second on the Bears in goals and fifth in points. This is a renaissance.
Let’s check out the other five goals from his 8-in-8 streak.
Ex-Hershey netminder David Leggio, he of Pierre McGuire impression fame, seems to have found a loophole in the rulebook. We couldn’t be prouder.
Playing for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, the 30-year-old Leggio, who represented the US at this year’s World Championship, faced a 2-on-0 after his team turned the puck over at center ice. As ex-Lightning forward Dana Tyrell made his way past the blue line, Leggio knocked the net off its moorings.
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