Development Camp Day 3

​Group A was out on the ice on-time as Day 3 of Development Camp began as Kettler. The team started off on the left-side rink with puck handling and passing drills, beginning with individual stick and puck handling drills. As practice continued, the drills developed into one-on-one passing and puck handling drills, group passing drills, and line drills. Group A practice seemed to be geared towards seeing how the players could interact with one another, and how well they could read the plays and move the puck. Aside from Riley Barber almost getting nailed by a puck (he dropped to the ice just in time, nice dodging skills!) practice went smoothly and a few players were able to showcase their passing and puck handling skills.

Stanislav Galiev was a standout player in practice, displaying his ability to both handle the puck well and skate quickly down the ice. While some are quick to point out his size, he makes up for it in big ways by not hesitating to get into the action. He challenges other players and drives towards the net, and his passing is usually on-point. He’s one of those flashy players, too, but not to the point where it overwhelms his game. He made a shot from the knee during practice that displayed both his personality and his creativity making a play. Speaking of shots, Matt Bailey has a nice, hard shot that is very on target. He shot the puck to the net again and again (every time I asked myself who was going to the net, it was Bailey) and fired the puck straight and quick. He skates fast, has a nice backwards skate, and shows the ability to recognize when a scoring chance is available. Andreas Martinsen was one of the fastest skaters on the ice in practice today. He moved the puck from one end of the ice to the other in no time at all, and in one-on-one drills he succeeded in keeping the puck away from his opponent. His speed and physical game (he was up against the boards during some of the drills) are fun to watch.

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On the other end of the speed spectrum, Tom Wilson is not a very fast skater. That quality may be reduced due to his size, but he should work on his speed in order to be able to keep up with the other forwards. Wilson did shine in the one-on-one drills though, using his size to his advantage and overpowering his opponents to get the puck.

Adam Oates is a very vocal coach, and seemed to have no trouble communicating with the prospects. The players seemed comfortable approaching him with questions, and he seemed ready to listen to comments or anything else that the players had to say. Oates was able to convey what he wanted from the players clearly and constantly during drills. This open line of communication with the prospects was really nice to see, especially considering the comments made concerning the coach-player communication prior to Oates. If Oates is able to communicate with the rookies this easily, perhaps this trait will transfer over to the professional players, too.

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Development Camp: Day 3

Forty-six Caps prospects and free-agent invitees assembled again at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday for day three of Washington Capitals Development Camp.  The morning was slow, with both groups being put through conditioning tests, but the afternoon saw the first scrimmage of the camp take place.

First thing in the morning, however, at around 8:15, all four goalies at camp hit the ice with goaltending coach Dave Prior, associate goaltending coach Olaf Kolzig, and several other coaches for a private session.  The coaching staff put Steffen Soberg, Philipp Grubauer, Brandon Anderson, and Jacob Gervais-Chouinard through a series of drills involving clearing, positioning, and recovery over the hour-long skate.

During the full-length Red (Group B) vs. White (Group A) scrimmage, Andrew Cherniwchan scored for the White late in the first period to tie after Caleb Herbert had opened the scoring midway through the first. In the second period, Russian Stan Galiev scored after missing a wide open net early in the period, cashing on on a nice pass by 2011 draftee Travis Boyd.  Boyd then put the red team up 3-1 early in the third before Aaron Schmit tapped in a loose puck behind Steffen Soberg to make it 4-1 halfway through the frame.  The White team got one back with about four minutes left as Garrett Mitchell scored on a nice pass from Cherniwchan and Cody Eakin.

Eakin and Orlov played very well again during the scrimmage. Eakin was battling in the corners consistently throughout the game while Orlov’s positioning was sound and he did not make any huge mistakes spare one, but Danick Paquette could not convert on the chance.  Goaltender Philipp Grubauer made several nice saves in his 30 minutes of playing time, particularly with his legs, and showed good lateral movement.

Travis Boyd impressed as well, tallying a goal and an assist.  This past year’s sixth-round draft selection (177th overall) definitely made an impression and he, too, utilized a good motor and attitude to get things done both in open ice and along the boards.

New-to-the-organization Swedish center Mattias Sjogren had a great scrimmage, particularly on faceoffs and in terms of positioning..  He, too, used his speed well and looked like what he is: a man among boys at a camp like this.  It will be tough to evaluate Sjogren fully until training camp in the fall, where he plays against the actual team.

 

It was a good day at Kettler.  More to come later.

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