Today, the Washington Capitals started their week long development camp for prospects. I got to get my first look at all of the 2014 NHL draftees. Here are some notes from day one of development camp.
- Riley Barber looked very good today. He’s definitely improved his overall game. He looked extremely confident during defensive drills. Any time he was out of position, he used his speed to make up for it. I didn’t get to see much of him during offensive drills, but I will definitely make it a point to do so on Wednesday.
- Madison Bowey has improved so much from last year. He is so aggressive and athletic. He seemed to take lessons well too. He got to show off his slapshot, which was deadly today. Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz likes him a lot, as does Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann.
- Speaking of Trotz and Mann, they plan to communicate at least once every two days.
- I got my first look at 2014 first round pick Jakub Vrana, and I must say that I am impressed. Even though I only saw him do drills, I can tell that he’s a great finisher who can score from pretty much anywhere. He just has to work on his defense and on being more consistent. Struggled during defensive drills. Language barrier appears to be an issue, as he struggled to understand instructions at times.
- Andre Burakovsky was the best player on the ice, and it wasn’t even close. I’m expecting big things from him this season. Can’t wait to see him in a Washington Capitals sweater!
- One defenseman (other than Bowey) stood out to me today: Eliot Antonetti. He’s listed at 6’6″, but I think he’s probably even taller than that. Has a very intimidating presence while on the ice. Obviously speed and agility are not his forte.
- The Washington Capitals coaching staff uses I-Pads to film each skater and then give them to Barry Trotz. Interesting way of doing things.
I’ll be back down on Friday.