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: Tom Sorensen/USA Hockey
Capitals fifth-round pick Shane Gersich stays hot. After a tremendous start to the season with Omaha of the USHL that has him third in the league in goals, the Minnesota-native forward got the call to represent the US at the World Junior A Challenge. He’s done well there too.
Gersich with Team USA at the 2014 U18 World Juniors (Photo: IIHF)
Washington Capitals fifth-round pick in 2014 Draft Shane Gersich has been named to the Team USA roster for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, the tournament showcasing the best players from “A” level leagues, such as the Canadian CJHL and the American USHL.
The tournament is held every year in Canada. This year, the games will be played in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.
Photo: Omaha Lancers
Washington Capitals fifth-round pick Shane Gersich is off to a terrific start and has dominated the USHL so far this season. The speedy forward, who is expected to attend University of North Dakota beginning next fall, scored four goals in his last two games and now has five goals in six games overall.
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