The Caps’ first game of the South Florida Rookie Tournament is in the books. The Capitals rookies lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-6. To say the goalies (two for each side) played poorly would be an understatement.
Let’s take a look at the highlights via the Capitals’ and Lightning’ Twitter accounts.
For the purpose of this series, a prospect will be defined as an under-25 player in the Capitals system who was not on the team’s roster for the majority of last season. This allows us to focus on guys who many know little about. You will not see players like Stan Galiev, Philipp Grubauer, or Andre Burakovsky on this list.
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: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
The Caps’ affiliate just dispatched the Penguins’ affiliate in the second round of the AHL playoffs. It was all because of Caps’ 2011 sixth round pick Travis Boyd.
The 22-year-old prospect scored the biggest goal of his professional career, tucking a beautiful no-angle shot underneath the crossbar after skating out from behind the Baby Pens net.
Photo: Minnesota Men’s Hockey Facebook
The Capials have announced the signing of center Travis Boyd to a two-year entry-level contract.
21-year-old Boyd has spent the past four seasons at the University of Minnesota, where he centered the top line this season, which ended on Friday as the Gophers lost to intrastate rival Minnesota-Duluth in the first round of the Northeast regional tournament. Earlier this month, Minnesota won its first ever Big 10 tournament.
The native of Edina, MN was one day too old to be eligible for the 2012 draft.
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.
GIF by jaybeagles
The other day Tom Wilson was mic’d up during a Development Camp practice. Washington Capitals prospect Travis Boyd found out about it and — this is a first — asked for a shout-out to his Twitter account. Since he’s using one of Chris Gordon’s photos as his avatar, you might as well give him a follow at @TBoyd93.
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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