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.
Andre Burakovsky is the best Caps prospect yet to play a game with the big club (Photo: Elsa/Getty Images).
With rookie camp upon us, RMNB presents the new edition of its semiannual prospect rankings.
Prospect rankings factor in a player’s potential, his probability to reach his ceiling (including an assessment of that player’s adaptation to NHL’s style of play), and physical and mental maturity.
The Caps prospect pool is considered top-heavy, with four Caps prospects ranked in top-50 league-wide by both Corey Pronman and NHL.com. However, there’s believed to be a significant drop-off in talent after that. While Capitals management has tried to make their prospect pool deeper, they’ve still got work to do. The Caps are considered thin at center in particular, underlined by auditioning their two top wingers for a center slot.
Chandler Stephenson has been one of the most impressive Caps prospects this season (Photo: Derek Leung/Getty Images)
The first half of the 2013-14 season has been mostly positive for Washington Capitals prospects. Unknowns like Andre Burakovsky and Chandler Stephenson have shown real NHL potential, while the elder statesmen of the pool like Nate Schmidt and Patrick Wey, both coming off tremendous college careers, have made steps up the Caps’ depth chart.
However, top two Caps prospects will wish their first half was better: Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s injuries have limited his action and Tom Wilson has had a hard time gaining a meaningful role with the big club.
The feel-good story of the season so far has been Stephenson, who had been bugged by injuries in the past, but is now thriving in a veteran role as an offensive go-to guy for his team. I’ve got more on these stories and our full top-20 ranking below. (more…)
Connor Carrick rushes the puck up ice (Photo credit: Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
World Juniors semifinalists were determined on Thursday. Washington Capitals prospects combined for three points. Riley Barber had one assist to his name, while Andre Burakovsky recorded a pair of helpers.
Barber celebrates. (Photo credit: Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Capitals sixth-round pick and Team USA captain Riley Barber improved his scoring streak to four games with a shorthanded goal in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Canada.
Barber opened up scoring early in the second period, but Canada took the lead back thanks to the goals by Nic Petan, Connor McDavid, and Curtis Lazar. Late in the third, Stefan Matteau brought the Americans’ deficit to one, but they couldn’t bring this game into overtime. (more…)
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