When it comes to 2016’s Washington Capitals Development Camp, a lot of the hype has surrounded first-round pick Lucas Johansen, as well as the other new Capitals’ prospects entering camp this year. However, the storyline also lies with the Development Camp veterans, especially when it comes to Madison Bowey, who is attending the Capitals’ mini-camp for his third time.
Takeaways from Development Camp
Bowey, who played for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, was a second-round draft pick in 2013, and has since become one of the Capitals’ best up-and-coming defensemen. With his time in development camp, the 21-year-old prospect believes he has picked up on a lot of different skills.
“I think the pro mentality is one of the big ones,” Bowey said. “How to carry yourself on and off the ice like a true pro, and for me, I’m just trying to take it all in.”
That pro mentality is what earned Bowey his first season with a professional hockey league, when he suited up with the Hershey Bears for the 2015-16 campaign. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound defender scored 29 points (four goals, 25 assists) in 70 games with the Capitals’ AHL affiliate, and was a plus-22. He also was part of the Hershey team that made it to the Calder Cup Finals.
…I’m just going to enjoy it, live in the moment and just go with it. – Madison Bowey on his career.
Making it to the Big Show
Bowey’s true goal, however, is to make it to where General Manager Brian MacLellan wants him to be: competing for a call-up to the NHL when the injury bug bites the blue line. This summer, Bowey plans to continue to build his strength and work on improving in certain areas so that he will be ready for training camp come September.
“I’m a guy who sets my goals high, so I’m hoping to have a really good summer,” Bowey said. “One of the main things for me is working on my flexibility, and that’s definitely something I have in my mind, and something I’m going to be improving on.”
Coming into training camp in the fall, Bowey plans to raise the bar and continue to work toward higher aspirations — one that could translate to him putting on a Capitals’ jersey. However, no matter the turn out, Bowey plans to maintain a positive, ambitious mentality.
“Coming to camp, I’m just going to give them my all and show them that if I can’t make it make it out of the gates, that I’m going to go back to Hershey an mature as a player and develop, so one day maybe I can get the call up,” Bowey said. “If not, it’s a long process, and I’m just going to enjoy it, live in the moment and just go with it.”
Acting as a Mentor
So far at camp, Bowey has been working hard and improving in different areas, but he has also served as a leader to the younger players entering their first year of camp.
“Now that I’m an older guy, I can really help the younger guys and really help them feel comfortable in these kinds of camps,” Bowey said. “I just have to lead by example on and off the ice.”
For the younger prospects that includes Washington’s impressive 2016 Draft class, Bowey has some advice to offer them going forward: have fun and appreciate this moment.
“Enjoy it,” Bowey said. “You know, there are so many guys in the world right now that would be blessed to be in this position and I think, you know, it’s obviously a great opportunity. You see this facility, it’s beautiful. You’re in a beautiful city, so really, just enjoy it, work your hardest on the ice and leave it all out there.”
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.