Several Washington Capitals players are back in town gearing up for training camp and that includes top prospect Hendrix Lapierre who was included in the NHLPA Rookie Showcase at MedStar Capitals Iceplex yesterday.
Although he’s a rookie he already has had the thrill of not only playing in his first NHL game but scoring his first NHL goal. He grew up idolizing Alex Ovechkin and not only playing in the NHL but also being teammates with the great eight was a cool experience for Lapierre.
“[Ovechkin] is such a good guy. He’s just very very passionate about the game which is super impressive considering the fact that he’s beaten pretty much every record he had to. I know he wants to get Gretzky, but he’s just so passionate about the game. He loves to have fun. I think it’s very good for me to see that these guys like to have fun but at the same time, when it’s business time, they’re really out there.For me, it was a dream come true literally when I had a chance to play with him and he’s been very, very good to me. I think he’s coming in soon and I hope I’ll talk to him in the next couple days.”
Lapierre had fun at the showcase. In addition to talking to the media, he also signed autographs for Upper Deck, the NHL’s trading card partner and even opened up a pack to find Ovechkin and Nic Dowd to his surprise.
Lapierre spent most of the summer in the weight room with the goals of gaining some muscle. At one point he was pushing too hard and was told rest and recovery for the muscles is just as important:
“I’ve always taken care of my body. But I think sometimes, I was trying to do a little too much maybe, because I really wanted to get bigger and stronger. So I was always in the gym, like pushing weights and very heavy stuff.”
I think Lapierre has the potential to once again crack the opening night roster. Will he stay there is the big question. I don’t see him getting sent overseas rather at the worst going to the Hershey Bears but something tells me he’s going to be a big part of the roster later on in the season.