The National Hockey League regular season gets underway Wednesday night in Boston, along with a few other games on the docket. Other leagues have gotten started prior to the NHL, most notably international leagues and junior leagues.
The Hockey Writers will continue to provide monthly Washington Capitals prospect reports this season, beginning with an overview of the team’s international and junior prospects. The collegiate and professional (AHL/ECHL) will be released when their regular season schedules get underway.
You can view a top ten prospect ranking of Washington’s system from this summer, here. A new list of the Capitals top prospects will be released later this fall. Below are some notes from the first couple games of the season.
Madison Bowey: Washington’s top blue line prospect played a few games during training camp and captained Washington’s rookie game against Philadelphia before returning to the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. He netted a five point night (two goals, three assists) in his second game back against Vancouver. All of his assists came on the power play and both goals he scored came on the penalty kill, with the second coming as an empty netter.
|Player||Team||Position||September||Year To Date|
|Madison Bowey||Kelowna Rockets (WHL)||Defense||1 GP, 3 A||3 GP,|
|Blake Heinrich||Portland Winterhawks (WHL)||Defense||DNP||DNP|
|Tyler Lewington||Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)||Defense||3 G, 4 A||4 G, 5 A|
|Shane Gersich||Omaha Lancers (USHL)||Forward||1 G, 1 G, 4 SOG||2 G, 1 G, 1 A, 6 SOG|
|Steven Spinner||Omaha Lancers (USHL)||Forward||1 G, 0 P, 5 SOG||2 G, 0 P, 9 SOG|
He leads all WHL defensemen in scoring with ten points entering Saturday’s action. Bowey recorded 60 points in 72 games last season and has already achieved one-sixth of his point production from last season. He’s the quarterback on the Rockets’ power play and brings dynamic offensive firepower to the ice. With Capitals longtime defenseman Mike Green set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, Bowey could be in the mix for a role on Washington’s blue line. A year in Hershey in the American Hockey League will be the other scenario for the 2015-16 campaign.
Blake Heinrich: Washington’s 2013 fifth round draft pick has yet to play this season after suffering a concussion in preseason play, according to The Columbian. Henrich has not yet been cleared to practice following the injury.
Tyler Lewington: Drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 draft by Washington, this 19 year old defenseman impressed Capitals’ brass during training camp. He’s already contributed five points in four games for the Medicine Hat Tigers, along with being named Captain of the team. He’s searching a pro contract for next season.
In speaking with #Caps coaches and management following the rookie game, Tyler Lewington's name was frequently mentioned. Very impressed.
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) September 16, 2014
“During the week you probably don’t see that much but you bring it to the game, he was a kid who stood out for me on the back end as well. It was good to see guys standing up for each other, even when they went after the goalie there and took a penalty, I thought we stood up for guys. That wasn’t a problem there.” –Hershey Bears coach Troy Mann
Shane Gersich: Selected by Washington this summer in the fifth round, Gersich is spending time with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL before heading off to the University of North Dakota next season. He’s recorded six shots on goal this season along with a goal and an assist through Omaha’s first two games. Gersich is a teammate of Capitals draftee Steven Spinner who has yet to record a point this season.
Jakub Vrana: Drafted in the first round this year, Vrana was a longshot to make the Capitals out of training camp. He’s a silky, 5’11” forward who holds impactful offensive talent. He contributed a goal and an assist in his first game back for Linkoping in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). You can see video of Vrana’s first game of the season from Russian Machine Never Breaks, here.
He’s currently playing on a line with two former Hershey Bears forwards, Jeff Taffe and Jacob Micflikier. There’s a high probability Vrana starts the year next season in Hershey. Taffe and Micfliker are tied for first in points scored, both registering ten points on the year.
Christian Djoos: A seventh round draft selection, Djoos signed his entry level deal with Washington earlier this year. He showed flashes of his potential during the WJHC last winter, but needs to add some size to his frame before playing in North America. Djoos could play for the Hershey Bears (AHL) or the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) next season.
|Player||Team||Position||September||Year To Date|
|Jakub Vrana||Linkoping (SHL)||Forward||DNP||2 G, 2 G, 1 A, 6 SOG|
|Kevin Elgestal||Frolunda (SHL)||Forward||NA||1 GP, 2 PIM|
|Christian Djoos||Brynas (SHL)||Defense||1 GP||3 GP, 0 P, 4 SOG|
|Vitek Vanecek||Benatky nad Jizerou (CZE-2)||Goalie||NA||1 GP, 1.00 GAA, .952 SV %|
What Capitals prospect are you most excited for this season?
Matthew Speck covers the Washington Capitals organization for The Hockey Writers. He provides coverage of both Washington at the NHL level and prospect related content. Matthew also covers local sports for the Lebanon Daily News in Central Pennsylvania. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.