It’s easy to be overlooked when you’re a sixth-round pick in the NHL draft. From 2000 to 2011, only one in five sixth-round selections ever suited up for a NHL game. But for Washington Capitals prospect Riley Barber, being the underdog seems to work in his favor.
After missing a 45-man Evaluation Camp roster in August, Barber, on Monday, was named to the United States’ preliminary 27-man roster for the 2013 World Junior Championships. These 27 players will meet in Tarrytown, New York on December 16-18th to determine who will represent the US in Ufa, Russia this year.
Barber, a first overall pick by the Dubuque Fighting Saints at the 2010 USHL Draft, made this giant leap in the depth chart by putting on a show playing for the third-ranked Miami University RedHawks of the CCHA this season. The 18-year-old right wing currently leads all freshmen in college hockey with 18 points in 14 games, also good for third amongst NCAA players drafted by NHL teams. Barber has been held off the scoresheet just twice in those fourteen contests.
The teams shake hands following the game. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
As has become tradition, Kettler Capitals Iceplex was packed to capacity Saturday for the final scrimmage of the team’s Development Camp and annual Fanfest. On a mid-July morning, hundreds were jammed into the team’s practice facility to watch prospects and college and free-agent invitees duke it out for the last time. Fans also took advantage of autograph sessions with Caps prospects and new Capitals center/rapperMike Ribeiro, who met the media for the first time yesterday.
As for the game itself, Team Red won in thrilling fashion, pulling out a 4-3 victory in overtime. After red pulled their goaltender, T.J. Syner scored in the final minute of the third period. In overtime, Max Iafrate set-up free-agent invitee Greg Miller for a slam-dunk one-timer in the slot. Stan Galiev and Riley Barber also scored for the red team. Daniel O’Donoghue, Taylor Stefishen, and David Vallorani tallied white’s three goals.
Below, check out my shots from the final day of camp.
Notably, the Caps selected three players from the U.S. developmental team, and one player recently of the U.S. developmental team. “I asked [the scouts] ‘What are we doing here?” said McPhee about this trend. “Are we drafting the whole team?'”
“We made a lot of picks today,” McPhee said of the second day overall. “I don’t know those kids very well. […] It’s nice to sort of restock this year, and we’ll see how they are in a couple of years.”