It was obvious in Tuesday night’s preseason game that Liam O’Brien and Connor Hobbs wanted to standout in their performance. What better way than to drop their mits and go at it. Continue reading “O’Brien and Hobbs Fighting for a Spot on Capitals Roster”
The Washington Capitals continued their preseason on Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins, the same team they took on Sunday afternoon to open the exhibition slate as well as the team they will begin the regular season against on October 3rd at Capital One Arena. They once again fell to the Bruins, this time by a final of 5-2. The big story, however, wasn’t what took place on the ice but the new-look arena off the ice. FiCP was there and got a first look at the renovations. Continue reading “Capitals Drop Preseason Home Opener in New-Look Capital One Arena”
The Capitals players are showing up little by little in Ballston, Virginia for an unofficial conditioning camp. Added to the pack are a few fellas from Hershey to show off their Bear talent. Continue reading “So Many Hershey Bears in Virginia”
Today begins our daily Hershey Bears Spotlight, the newest addition to the blog. We know you all are already going through withdrawals after yesterday’s final day of Caps Dev Camp so we decided to give you some more information on the guys from camp that will be heading to Hershey for the first time this season as well as those returning from the previous season.
First up we have one of our personal favorites here at FiCP; Connor Hobbs who played defense wearing #7 for the Bears since last season. Connor was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft #143 overall and continued to play for the Regina Pats in Canada for two more seasons following the draft.
In total Connor played for the Pats for three seasons before coming to the Bears; breaking multiple records during his time there including goals in a single season by a Pats defenseman and points in a single season by a defenseman in the WHL.
Connor is a hard hitting guy who throws his body around in all the right ways and has the speed to get him where he needs to be. To us he is the Tom Wilson of defenseman. Last season he posted 61 minutes in penalties, accompanied by three goals and 13 assists Impressive for a defenseman in his first season with the AHL. These numbers do not truly reflect his abilities though due to a wrist injury that sidelined Hobbs for seven weeks.
We expect to see Connor again for training camp in September as he demonstrates his abilities with the full Caps team.
Photos by Brittney Marcum Click Here
The Capitals concluded this year’s development camp with a high-paced game in which some players really stood out. Kettler Capitals Ice Plex was packed for the game, although some fans braved the heat for a chance with the Stanley Cup – more from our team later.
The group was divided into Team Red and Team White. Out of play today were Lucas Johansen and Kristofers Bindulis.
The goalies were also split between the two teams with Mitchell Gibson, Peyton Jones, and Frank Marotte in the net for White while Ilya Samsanov and Logan Thompson protecting the net for Team Red.
Scrimmages are short bursts of play and the prospects have a limited time to show their skills to coaches as management. Watching from rafters were the new Caps coach Todd Reirden, Olie Kolzig (professional development coach and former goalie goalie mentor), Blaine Forsythe, Mitch Korn, as well as GM Brian MacLellen. Not that that added any pressure to the guys hoping to get to the show soon.
The game was full of lots (we mean LOTS) of hits between the guys. And some decent scoring too!!!
Goal makers today included:
Eric Florchuk (Red)
Mark Simpson (White)
Sebastian Walfridsson (White)
Shane Gerish (Red)
Chase Priskie (White)
Final score 4 – 2 Team White!
We had a few favorite standouts today and we will dive deeper into their play and potential in a few features later this summer. For now, let’s take a look at some of them:
Connor Hobbs is our number one player from camp and the scrimmage. He is everywhere on the ice, reading where the puck goes and getting there quickly. Everyone we spoke with today mentioned him. And there is something different in his play. A definite level of confidence we haven’t seen in previous camps.
Cooper Zech, a defenseman who at 5’9″ and 161 pounds was a real powerhouse. We liked him from day one and he confines to impress us in the scrimmage.
Shane Gerish is the real deal. He has fast feet, good hands control, great in the corners, and lots of control. Oh and he can score too! He had a goal and an assist today. We can’t wait to see him at training camp!
Jonas Siegenthaler had full control today. He has a new maturity in the ice. Today we saw a nice move forward and a backhand pass that looked effortless for him. Like Hobbs, he seems to have a new-found confidence in his performance.
Chase Priskie was outstanding- including that sweet goal late in the second period. There is something about his style we like. You know he is there, and yet he can skate under the radar and make a play like he did today. He is one to keep an eye on.
And we just have to mention Patrick Giles. He was one of the three youngest players at camp this year. He is a local guy and his family and fellow teammates came out today to watch him. It was fun seeing their excitement for their buddy! Giles wasn’t drafted but he was invited to camp. He will be off to Boston College and we hope we get to see him back at camp again.
We will cover more of the players, especially those heading to Hershey and those drafted by the Capitals. It can take a while for the dream to come true, but this crew has a lot of potential.
Next up for the Caps? Capitals Training Camp in September.
The Capitals continued with their development camp on Wednesday. After an easy start on Tuesday, the coaches really put them all through the paces. It was Test Day for the forwards and defensemen on the Arlington Rink while the goalies worked on their skills over on the Capitals Rink. They all came together for more drills at the noon hour.
Critical to any winning team is who sits between the posts and who ultimately keeps the other team from scoring. This summer we had a chance to see four goalies who might one day be decked out in a red Capitals sweater.
Lets start with Adam Carlson. The 23 year old signed with Washington in 2016 as a free agent and has been playing with the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays. He played in 23 games and recorded one shutout against Atlanta. He initially reported to the Hershey Bears but was sent down to the Stingrays under and Amateur Tryout Agreement under emergency conditions, according to the Stingrays. He will most likely return to Charleston but a door could always open to allow him to get some ice time in Hershey.
Collin Delia has made an impression during his time playing at Merrimack College (NCAA) last season. Not only was he invited to the Capitals development camp – he was also invited to the Blackhawk’s camp. Tells you something about what the scouts see in this 23 year old. He will return to Marrimack as a senior. The door appears to be wide open for his future.
Goaltender Michael Lackey started in six games for Harvard (NCAA) in the 2015-16 season. Before that he was the starting goalie on the U17 team during the World U17 Challenge, according to Harvard and is a USA Hockey National Team Development Program alumi. He is also a local guy – born in Washington DC in 1997. He was sidelined with an apparent hip injury last year. You see during camp just how invested he is in improving his game and giving it his all in the net. Hopefully he will be back on the ice for Harvard and we’ll have a chance to see how his time at home has paid off.
Mack Shields, the Canadian goaltender from U Sports York University, made his mark on the camp. The York Lions said of Shields: ” A big goalie who has a tremendous work ethic and thinks the game well for his position.” We saw that as he seemed to always have the ear of the Capitals goalie coaches during camp. We understand he will be back for rookie camp. Shields will return to York for his sophomore season.
It was great fun getting to see these guys working with goaltender trainers Mitch Korn and Scott Murray. It was a real treat to spend time with Korn who stepped down as the Capitals goalie guru at the end of camp. We look forward to following them and their possible future in the NHL.
The prospects have been at it for four days now – running drills and learning all they can at Kettler. They have spent some quality time together on and off the ice. Today you could really tell that they have become friends and despite the grueling pace, they are having fun too.
Much of our focus today was on the defensemen. They ran some speed drills, inside shuffle drills, and shooting drills (Thanks Total Package Hockey for the verbiage.) We have to say, these guys need a bit more polish on their shooting as there were lots of pings at the bars!
This morning coach Dwayne Blais worked with the defense, providing some valuable one-on-one coaching tips. It was quite interesting to see him skating with the players as they ran their drills. He received high praise from Tyler Anderson’s dad Todd.
Forwards were running their own drills over on the Capital’s ice. There has been much attention on passing and puck handling, especially close to the net.
We have been impressed with the progress Jonas Siegenthaler is making. Each day he seems to have more control over himself on the ice. We see an improvement in stick handling and shooting form as well.
Additionally, Connor Hobbs, who we watched last year, is definitely showing some maturity on the ice since last year at this time. Again, some good control with his stick.
Whatever these guys take away from development camp – you can see touches of improvement in their skills and that they are having fun in the midst of a tough few days.
Join them and us at Kettler for the only scrimmage during camp. Puck drop is set for 10 am.
This morning started much like every other morning… until we remembered that camp was still going on! So off we went.
Skaters arrived on the ice around 10 and were split on to two separate rinks again; D-men on one side and forwards on the other.
All three goalies began with the forwards on the Arlington rink but Williams went to join the defensemen about halfway through.
During all of this, the Caps announced they had signed D-man Connor Hobbs to a three year entry-level contract. Welcome Connor!! (We are big fans of Hobbs here at FiCP)
Around 10:45 the two sides split in two and switched rinks so that both sides were working with all positions. Around 11:00 all members reconvened on the Caps ice for a group practice.
FULL SQUAD SCRIMMAGE IS 10:00 AM ON SATURDAY