Capitals top prospect Jakub Vrana scored again tonight.
Vrana opened the scoring for the Bears with a slick wrister from the faceoff dot. The tally is his seventh goal on the year and second in two nights. The Bears would add two more goals in a span of only fifteen seconds of the second to finish their scoring for the night.
Riley Barber scored on a nice wraparound only 35 seconds after the Bridgeport Sound Tigers took the lead in the second. Chandler Stephenson would give the Bears the lead only 15 seconds later on a rebound in front of Tigers net. Joe Cannata stopped 25 of 28 shots in the game.
The Bears, who went 0-9 on the power play, would not score during the shootout and lose 4-3.
The Hershey Bears did their best Washington Capitals impression Sunday evening, besting the Rochester Americans 5-3 to win their fifth straight game. They swept their weekend three-in-three. After losing four of their first five, Hershey has cruised to a 6-2-2 record while recording points in eight straight outings including Sunday.
Five different Bears scored goals for Hershey, and eight others got assists. Christian Thomas would score a first period goal for the Bears for the second time in two nights on a nice backhand feed from prospect Chandler Stephenson. Riley Barber added to the Bears lead later in the first on a tip in front of the net off a Chris Bourque centering pass, his third goal of the season. Along with two tallies from Rochester in the second, Nathan Walker would get his second goal of the year on a Zach Sill pass from behind the net.
Bears Captain Garrett Mitchell scored the fourth goal for the Bears at the beginning of the third on a nice little drop pass from Sill, a goal that would end up being the game-winner. Sill ended the game with two assists. Aaron Ness added an insurance power play marker with a little over eleven minutes left in the game.
Goaltender Joe Cannata made 21 stops in the victory, posting his fourth win of the season.
Saturday Night, the Hershey Bears tallied their second win of the season in dominant fashion. The Bears put up a touchdown (and an extra point), destroying the Binghamton Senators 7-2. All the Caps top prospects’ contributed in the win.
Jakub Vrana and Christian Thomas scored two goals apiece while Madison Bowey, Riley Barber, and Chris Bourque recorded the Bears’ other three goals. Hershey goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 15 of the Wolf Pack’s 17 shots.
The Hershey Bears fell to 1-3 on the season after a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to rival Wilkes-Barre Scranton. The Bears’ only goal belonged to Caps prospect Riley Barber. The goal was Barber’s first of the year and was made off a centering pass from Chris Bourque.
Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek looked very calm in net, making 33 saves. The Penguins would win on a penalty shot goal by Dominik Simon.
Earlier this week, we took a look at all the Caps’ prospects that didn’t make the top 10. Today, we’re diving into the bottom half of the top 10. Here’s a look at prospects 10 through six.
Midway through the doc, we learn how impressed the Caps organization is with 2011 sixth-round draft pick and Eric Fehr lookalike, Travis Boyd. According to Head Coach Barry Trotz, the unheralded and virtually unknown prospect will get a prime opportunity to make the team during this year’s training camp.
“I think you’ve done a tremendous job and we’re really happy,” Trotz said to Boyd, matter of factly. “You’re going to get a good opportunity at camp in the exhibition games and all of that. Showcase yourself. Get ready for that and go for it.”
“To Trotz-y’s point, it’s your time to start thinking about being an NHL player now,” Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe adds. “He said you were close. We knew you were close. We talked to [Hershey Bears Head Coach Troy Mann]. We know how they felt about you at the end of the year – what a big role you played for them in the playoffs. Don’t think we didn’t notice that. We hadn’t talked about it so it’s a good sign for you. It’s a good positive thing for you.”
“I see you having some impact for us so that’s awesome,” Trotz concludes. “Good work on you.”
Photos: Amanda Bowen
The Washington Capitals hosted their annual development camp for prospects two weeks earlier this year – arguably the busiest week of the offseason – to better accommodate prospects’ demanding schedules over the summer.
Three days after the 2016 NHL Draft, Caps prospects, which included the likes of top prospects Madison Bowey and Riley Barber as well as every pick from the 2015 and 2016 drafts, took the ice. The prospects learned system play and did drills to allow the front office to evaluate their skills and get baseline numbers. The prospects also participated in off-ice programs to learn what it takes to be a professional in the league. There was also a team-building rowing event held near Georgetown.
Lost in the headlines of qualifying offers, huge trades, and the first day of free agency, talented 2015 first-round pick Ilya Samsonov made his Caps debut, working feverishly with legendary goalie coach Mitch Korn. “[Camp] was really hard,” Samsonov said through a translator. “So many shots.” Forward Stan Galiev even made an appearance several days to help translate. Over the next year, the culture-shocked Samsonov, who only knows a handful of English words, will Skype once a week with Barry Trotz’s son Tyson, to better learn the language and communicate with coaches.
On Saturday, Caps Development Camp concluded with a scrimmage in front of a mostly full Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where Team White picked up a fun, but insignificant win.
That’s because, as the prospects know all too well, the real games and real tests are to come. Only a handful will suit up for the Washington Capitals someday.
Below are my photos from every day this week.
Photo: Michael Griggs/Miami University
Capitals’ 2012 sixth-round pick and top collegiate prospect Riley Barber has decided to leave Miami University and sign a three-year entry-level contract with Washington beginning in the 2015-16 season.
By inking a pro deal, the 21-year-old Barber has ended speculation that he may snub the Caps to become an unrestricted free agent on August 15, 2016.
Barber is a talented goal scorer. The Hockey News ranked him the fifth best prospect in the Caps’ system.
Senior Travis Boyd leads Minnesota to the NCAA Tournament (Photo: Brian Ekart)
With all six conference tournaments ending last Sunday, the field for the NCAA Tournament is set. This weekend, the top sixteen teams are divided in four single-elimination regional tournaments whose winners will face each in Frozen Four semifinals in Boston on April 9. The championship game will be played on April 11.
Jakub Vrana, Riley Barber, Madison Bowey
Three Capitals prospects have made the semi-annual list of the 50 best affiliated NHL prospects compiled by ESPN’s Corey Pronman. The list includes only players not currently on NHL rosters. This time, the ranking is topped by the Leafs’ forward William Nylander.
Following a mediocre World Junior Championship, Jakub Vrana, 13th overall pick of 2013 Draft, finishes seventh in Pronman’s rankings.
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