InGoal Magazine released its Top 50 NHL Goaltending Prospects for the 2015-16 season. The Washington Capitals were well represented, featuring two draft picks in the top 20.
Madison Bowey and Team Canada will try to bring Wolrd Junior supremacy to Canada on home soil. (Photo: Hockey Canada)
On Friday, the 2015 World Juniors will be underway in Montreal and Toronto. Two groups of five teams will be battling for ten days to determine the strongest junior team on the planet. It’s arguably the most meaningful and most exciting annual international hockey tournament.
The Washington Capitals will not be well represented at the tournament unlike in years past. After the club decided to not release Andre Burakovsky in a controversial move, only three Caps prospects will be playing at the tournament: Canadian defenseman Madison Bowey and two Czech nationals, forward Jakub Vrana and goalie Vitek Vanecek.
Washington Capitals defense prospect Tomas Kundratek has always been active on social media. A few years ago, to encourage more Movember donations, he offered to take his most generous fan out to for a free meal at Houlihan’s. Yes. Houlihan’s.
While in Arlington last week for Caps training camp, Kundtratek challenged some of his 8,000-plus followers to a game of NHL15 along with 18-year-old goaltender Vitek Vanecek.
Two young Caps fans, Stuart Penninger and his brother Lee, played a surreal game of virtual hockey against two pros from their favorite team. It was a birthday treat.
The best moment of Caps Rookie Camp didn’t happen on the ice. It happened on Monday in front of a podium. That’s where one Czech, Jakub Vrana, who knows some English, helped another Czech, Vitek Vanecek, who knows virtually none, speak to the media.
The result was a five-minute press conference full of laughing, inscrutable Czech banter, and one-sentence English translations for the media.
Curious as to what Vrana and Vanecek were actually saying to each other in their native language, I reached out to Darina Sameková, a bilingual Czech, and asked her to translate LITERALLY EVERYTHING.
The result is a stressed-out Vrana desperately trying to get good answers out a joking Vanecek. It’s just the best. You have to trust me and read this.
Andre Burakovsky is the best Caps prospect yet to play a game with the big club (Photo: Elsa/Getty Images).
With rookie camp upon us, RMNB presents the new edition of its semiannual prospect rankings.
Prospect rankings factor in a player’s potential, his probability to reach his ceiling (including an assessment of that player’s adaptation to NHL’s style of play), and physical and mental maturity.
The Caps prospect pool is considered top-heavy, with four Caps prospects ranked in top-50 league-wide by both Corey Pronman and NHL.com. However, there’s believed to be a significant drop-off in talent after that. While Capitals management has tried to make their prospect pool deeper, they’ve still got work to do. The Caps are considered thin at center in particular, underlined by auditioning their two top wingers for a center slot.
Fedor noticed something on Tuesday, and I just had to comment on it. Vitek Vanecek‘s bio photo on the Champions Hockey League website was not even close to being correct.
I made a crack about it on the Twitters.
Last Tuesday, Canada played the Czech Republic in National Junior Team Development Camp in Montreal. Because the Washington Capitals had two top picks from the 2014 draft, forward Jakub Vrana and goaltender Vitek Vanecek, playing, I recorded the game to take a closer look.
Vanecek allowed six goals on 37 shots in Canada’s 6-2 victory. With so much rubber going his way, the 18-year-old Czech had more than enough chances to display his strengths and weaknesses.
Photo: Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
In the secound round of the NHL Draft, the Capitals traded up, dealing the 44th and 74th overall picks to Buffalo in exchange for the 39th overall selection, Czech goaltender Vitek Vanecek from Bily Tygri Liberec of the Czech Elite League.
This is a surprise pick as Vanecek was not ranked highly by most, excluding NHL Central Scouting, who had him ranked eighth among European goaltenders.
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