Prospects and undrafted free agents were all over the place at Kettler Capitals Iceplex today, as Development Camp got underway with a 9:45 AM skate for Group A. Many prospects impressed, including Cody Eakin, Patrick Wey, Patrick Mullane, and Garrett Haar. Young goaltenders Philipp Grubauer and Steffen Soberg were on hand in Group A as well, with Soberg skating for the first time as a member of the Capitals’ organization. Group B was highlighted by Dmitry Orlov, Stan Galiev, and Mattias Sjogren.
After group A left the ice, Troy Brouwer had his first in-person media availability as a member of the organization as well, and stressed his physicality as piece that he hopes to bring to Washington on a regular basis. He noted that he knows his role on the team, and that he likes were DC is headed as an organization both in the near and distant future.
General Manager George McPhee also spoke, and did not have an update on RFA Karl Alzner’s contract status, though he said that he does expect to speak with Alzner’s agent later this week. When asked about any more possible trades, he said that he does not expect to move anyone else at this juncture, although he will listen to offers from other teams. The General Manager also talked about the trade of Eric Fehr last week, noting the ability to acquire more selections in what is expected to be a deep entry draft class next summer. McPhee likes where the team is now, and said that it is much better to have the holes plugged now rather than at the trade deadline.
New Associate Goaltending Coach Olie Kolzig spoke with the media as well, and could not be happier about joining the team he played virtually his entire NHL career with as a coach. Kolzig noted that he was very impressed with the organization’s goaltending depth, remarking that it “could not get any deeper.” The former Vezina Trophy winer said that there is no bad blood left from his rather unceremonious exit from the organization, and that he got “the itch” after two years out of hockey. He hopes that his experience will be the most valuable thing that he can bring to the coaching staff, being a former player, and is looking forward to the start of training camp in September.
Lastly, Bruce Boudreau spoke, and seemed to make it clear, that Tomas Vokoun will be the number one goalie coming in to camp, saying that he has earned the “respect” and “edge” for that job. When asked about top prospect Cody Eakin, who continues to generate buzz around fans and media alike, Boudreau says he believes that Eakin will do “whatever it takes” to stick, that he loves his makeup as a player, and that he expects a very tough decision after training camp on his future.
More to come later. Stay tuned.