Barber wraps around Ohio State’s net. (Photo credit: Michael Griggs/Miami University)

Sixth-round 2012 draft pick Riley Barber has picked up this season right where he left off. In his first two games, a non-conference home-and-home between Barber’s No. 2-ranked Miami University and cross-state rivals Ohio State University, Barber scored seven points: two assists in the 6-2 road blowout on Friday and four goals and one helper in a 6-3 convincing home win on Saturday. Barber, who plays right wing on his team’s top line with Max Cook and Austin Czarnik, now leads NCAA in goals and points. Continue Reading

Tom Wilson and Madison Bowey during Caps Development Camp in July. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

[Editor’s Note: Fedor has reported on Washington Capitals prospects for RMNB for the last three years. This year we’re proud to introduce his prospect rankings. The rankings will be updated three times during the season– with the goal of updating you on how prospects are or not progressing. The first edition of the rankings come on the second day of Rookie Camp, as Caps prospects jockey for position within the organization.]

The Washington Capitals have re-stocked their prospect pipeline over the past two NHL drafts, giving fans a wealth of new players to get excited about in addition to a few solid free-agent prospects signings.

The 2012 Draft is turning out be a sterling spot on George McPhee’s resume. After picking Filip Forsberg and Tom Wilson in the first round, GMGM made a few strong picks in the latter rounds with Thomas DiPauli, Connor Carrick, Riley Barber, and Christian Djoos– all of whom have been invited to their junior national team camps and left good impressions.

Depth on defense is an area of strength for this crop of talent, with more than a few prospects ready to compete for roster spots as soon as they open.

Below, check out inaugural edition of the RMNB prospect rankings.

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Riley Barber checks Sweden’s David Gunnarsson (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Six Washington Capitals prospects participated in the Lake Placid National Junior Evaluation Camp tournament held this past week featuring teams from the USA, Canada, Finland, and Sweden. The Swedes unofficially won the tournament with three wins in five games.

Under the jump, I recap the performance of all Caps prospects.

Yeah, I watched a lot of internet streams last week.

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riley-barber-dev-camp

Photo credit: @JessieMartin

The Washington Capitals had a few pleasant surprises from their prospects last year. Tom Wilson showed the kind of offensive output everyone had hoped for. Connor Carrick displayed NHL potential. Garrett Mitchell proved he’s NHL-ready in Hershey. But the “Performance Way Over Expectations” award this year goes to Riley Barber, who had a tremendous rookie year at Miami University. Barber was named CCHA Freshman of the Year and played on the top line during the USA’s surprising gold medal win at World Juniors.

A player who wasn’t drafted until the sixth round has somehow turned into a dominant college hockey player.

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A Caps Fan’s Guide To The 2013 NCAA Tournament

Miami University’s Riley Barber headlines a list of Caps prospects at the NCAA Tournament (Photo credit: Rachel Lewis / Triple Deke Photography)

Washington Capitals prospects have been no strangers to the NCAA hockey tournament recently. A year ago, four of them (including then-UFA Cameron Schilling) made it to regionals. This year’s tournament includes six Caps prospects.

Regionals will be held in Toledo, OH; Providence, RI; Grand Rapids, MI; and Manchester, NH. The winners of the tournaments will face each other in Pittsburgh on April 11-13.

Grab yourself a bracket and let’s learn about our competing Caps prospects.

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Riley Barber attacks Buckeyes’ goal. (Miami University Athletics).

Caps sixth-round draft pick Riley Barber has continued the same strong play that earned him a spot on the 2013 USA WJC team. As part of Miami (OH) University, Barber beat intrastate rival Ohio State, securing victory in the CCHA regular season. In the last game of the season, Barber scored a goal and assisted another, endangering the Buckeyes’ net each time he and linemates Austin Czarnik and Curtis McKenzie hit the ice.

Take a look at Barber’s highlights and stats after the jump.

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Mark French

Photo credit: Ian iPad

Over the offseason the Hershey Bears saw several key veterans sign elsewhere, such as future AHL Hall of Famer Keith Aucoin, 2011-12 AHL leading scorer Chris Bourque, and fan-favorite enforcer Joel Rechlicz. The team also had to deal with a peculiar problem due to the lockout: two head coaches, Mark French and new Caps bench boss Adam Oates. Capitals general manager George McPhee mandated that Hershey learn Oates’ new system, so that the organization’s minor league players could be used to it by the time NHL games started being played. All this change has seen the team scuffle to a .500 record through 34 games this season (16-16-1-1).

But now things are starting to look up. Before it was announced that the lockout had been lifted, Hershey had been getting its best goaltending of the year from Braden Holtby, who was recently named AHL player of the month for December. Stan Galiev, who had been struggling with his transition from junior hockey, is starting to look more comfortable on the ice and more worthy of his #29 prospect ranking from Hockey Prospectus. The organization also has a surplus of quality goaltenders in the ECHL knocking at the door of the AHL: Philipp Grubauer and 2012 seventh-round pick Sergey Kostenko.

On Saturday, after the Bears’ 3-1 loss to the Binghamton Senators, I asked French if this is the best he’s seen Braden Holtby play, if the sky is the limit for Riley Barber, and if Caps fans should be worried about Galiev’s early season struggles.

My full Q&A with French is below the jump.

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2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship

Riley Barber is in the second row, directly to the left of the cup. (Photo credit: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Washington Capitals prospect Riley Barber and Team USA upset Filip Forsberg and Christian Djoos of the defending champion Team Sweden 3-1 on Saturday to win the 2013 World Junior Championships. This is the first time that the USA has won the tournament since 2010, when some guy named John Carlson scored in sudden-death overtime.

Team USA was led in the title game by John Gibson, named best goalie of the tournament with a .955 save percentage, and Rocco Grimaldi, who scored two goals. Former Caps defenseman Phil Housley, in his first year coaching Team USA, was the victorious head coach. Assistant Grant Potulny, who scored 19 goals in 50 games during the 2007-08 season for the Hershey Bears, also won gold as an assistant coach.

Highlights are below.

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On Saturday morning, Filip Forsberg and Team Sweden will face off against Riley Barber and Team USA in the World Junior Championships. In the photo above, taken by Grantland’s Katie Baker, you see Forsberg (second from right) and his teammates holding up a newspaper reading, “No More Miracles For You.”

We’ll see about that. Not to be partisan, but I’m firmly on #teamusa come Saturday morning at 8 am. Sweden’s great and everything– with their fish and chefs and Jens Lekman, but it’s USA’s game to lose.

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Riley Barber scores his second goal of the game. (Photo credit: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images).

At 4am EST Wednesday morning, on the other side of the globe, the United States junior national team blew out the Czech Republic, 7-0. Caps prospect Riley Barber had his second big game of the tournament, this time scoring two goals after being held off the scoreboard for the previous three.

Video of his goals are below.

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