Day 3 of Development Camp 2015 for prospects of the Washington Capitals was sort of like the third quarter of the academic year. On Day 1, the prospects were put through what amounted to a brief master class in skating with very little work with pucks in the morning, followed by some afternoon work with lines and pairs. Day 2 was a day to test skaters on their current skills status in a variety of skating courses, and then give forward lines and pairs some more time together.
Day 3 was more of a conventional day of drills that looked more like a “training camp” setting. Not that the day lacked for instruction – often on a one-on-one basis. But the pace was crisp in going from one drill to the next, emphasizing skating passing, corner work, and making the goaltenders work for their supper.
This is where one starts to see who has been through this before – who has experience here and elsewhere – and who is still sort of feeling their way, taking it all in. There is a certain confidence that seemed to surround guys like Jakub Vrana, Chandler Stephenson, and Madison Bowey. That’s not to say that some of the free agent invitees are without a chance of moving up the ladder, but this might be their first experience with a camp at this level, even if it does not feature parent or farm team roster players.
The forward lines in the first morning session (Team White) were:
- Red Jerseys: Riley Barber/Chandler Stephenson/Jakub Vrana
- Gray Jerseys: Nick Lappin/Thomas DiPauli/Brian Pinho
- White Jerseys: Trevor Cox/Jonathan Davidsson/Steven Spinner
The forward lines for the second morning session (Team Red) were:
- Red Jerseys: Liam O’Brien/Travis Boyd/Caleb Herbert
- Gray Jerseys: Marcus Basara/Shane Gersich/Kevin Elgestal
- White Jerseys: Cody Murphy/Miles Koules/Zach Sanford
A few observations from the morning sessions…
- One of the features of the Team White session was Jakub Vrana wearing the helmet cam.
- Chandler Stephenson showed some early am skill in banking pucks off iron an in, although such things do have ways of evening out. Home he saves some for the season.
- The sessions were largely divided in half – forwards at one end doing skating-passing-shooting drills, and the defensemen at the other end of the ice working on shooting, particularly changing angles and position to get shots off.
- Keegan Asmundson is a very large goaltender, but it is not a hindrance. That said, the goalies (Asmundson and Chris Nell) seemed to have a rougher time in the second (Team Red) session than did (Vitek Vanacek and Jan Ruzicka) did in the first (Team White) session.
- Asmundson took a shot off the mask from Zach Sanford early in the Team Red session and took a couple of minutes to check the mask for dents.
- Mitch Korn seems to be always teaching. He didn’t miss a chance to get in the goaltender’s ear to give him 30 seconds or a minute of advice.
And now, some pictures…