Any hockey player’s first NHL goal is bound to be memorable, but Brock Boeser has a strong case for one of the most memorable ever. Boeser’s first career NHL goal came just 24 hours after finishing the NCAA Championship with the University of North Dakota (UND) and signing a contract with the Vancouver Canucks. His college teammate Shane Gersich, a Capitals prospect, was along for the ride.
UND’s team, whose alumni include TJ Oshie and Taylor Chorney, is full of NHL prospects. Gersich registered eight shots on goal during the team’s double overtime loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday. Boeser, who was second on the team with seven shots on goal, signed with the Canucks Saturday morning and then scored his first goal, the game winner, against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday afternoon. What a wild 24 hours.
The University of North Dakota, TJ Oshie and Taylor Chorney’s former college hockey team, took on Boston University, Kevin Shattenkirk’s former college team, today in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. BU defenseman and Boston Bruins prospect, Charlie McAvoy, scored in double overtime to end the game. This game is now the longest NCAA Tournament game in UND history.
Hours before the opening faceoff, TJ Oshie sent out a tweet cheering on his alma mater.
The Hockey News named their top 100 NHL prospects and the Washington Capitals had four players make the list: goaltender Ilya Samsonov, forward Jakub Vrana, and defensemen Jonas Siegenthaler and Madison Bowey.
Although the Caps are in win-now mode more than ever, their pipeline is still strong.
One of the reasons for the Capitals’ success over the last decade is the deep organizational depth they have. Under Ross Mahoney’s lead, the team has consistently drafted well, especially late in drafts. 2014 fifth-round-pick Shane Gersich appears to be another one of those late-round gems.
Last week, the sophomore forward went viral on social media and landed on SportsCenter after scoring a ridiculous spin-o-rama goal against Denver University. Gersich won a National Championship during his freshman season with the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks last year.
The 20-year-old forward currently leads UND in both points (17) and goals (9) in 12 games. Last week, I spoke to Gersich and asked about his sensational goal and how he thought up of the idea. I also asked Gersich about his family’s famous hockey lineage and what former North Dakota players and current Capitals Taylor Chorney and TJ Oshie said in their visit three weeks ago.
Caps prospect Shane Gersich just scored the most brilliant goal of his young career.
The 20-year-old sophomore earned an extra point for the No. 6 ranked University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks men’s hockey team after blacking out and scoring a brilliant spin-o-rama goal in three-on-three overtime.
Gersich was drafted by the Capitals in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
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.
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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