YOU CAN WATCH TARIK AND JILL'S FULL BREAKDOWN OF MADISON BOWEY IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.
As we skate toward the start of the 2017-18 NHL regular season, our CSN Capitals team of Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir will analyze potential breakout candidates, prospects on the rise, players in need of improvement and the rest of the Metropolitan Division.
Today they're discussing Madison Bowey, a 2013 second round pick that the Caps hope will be ready for everyday duty at some point this winter.
2017-18 CAPITALS PROSPECT PREVIEW: MADISON BOWEY
Contract: Entry-level conract, $703,333 cap hit, restricted free agent in 2018
AHL Seasons: 2 (104 games)
2016-17 AHL Stats: 34 games, 3 goals, 11 assists, +6, 28 PIMs
Tarik El-Bashir's Prospect Preview:
If Christian Djoos sits atop the Caps’ list of prospects on D, Madison Bowey isn’t too far behind.
Bowey, a 2013 second rounder, has the size, skill and demeanor of an everyday NHL blue liner. The question as training camp approaches, though, is whether he’s had enough pro seasoning.
“He looks like an NHLer,” Hershey Bears Head Coach Troy Mann told Jill and Tarik on CSN’s Capitals Faceoff Podcast recently. “He’s got that demeanor out there. He has that size and the physical tools to play at the NHL level. Certainly his consistency is something we’ve worked on the last two seasons.”
Bowey, 22, appeared in only 34 regular games for Hershey last season because of a lacerated ankle tendon that he suffered in late December. The injury, which required surgery, sidelined the Winnipeg native until mid-March. Then, just as he was getting back into the groove, he took a puck off the face in early April and missed a few more games.
At the time of the ankle injury Bowey, by many accounts, was playing his best hockey as a professional. By the time the playoffs rolled around, though, he was still struggling to get caught up.
“To say that there was some inconsistency—we’re not going to lie and say there wasn’t—but it understandable when he missed 3 ½ months,” Mann said.
The injuries—plus a veteran-laden lineup in Washington that stayed healthy for almost all of last year—prevented Bowey from getting into an NHL game last season. When he gets to training camp in September, though, the door will be wide open.
As things stand now, the Capitals have five defensemen under contract (Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson and Taylor Chorney) and a couple of openings, if you include the spare.
Among the players expected to be in the mix are Aaron Ness, Djoos, Bowey and Tyler Lewington...with Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs and Jonas Siegenthaler just behind that group.
Mann really likes Djoos’ chances of seizing a spot. But he also says that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Bowey force his way to the forefront, as well.
“There’s a spot there for him,” Mann said. “He’s a right-shot D with size, and can move the puck. So I wouldn’t be shy about saying that if he has a great training camp, you could see him cracking the lineup.”
Jill Sorenson's Prospect Analysis:
What He Has: “He’s a smooth skater, his first pass is exceptional, and I think fans will see that right away when they look at his highlights. He’s a puck mover [and] he has the puck a lot.”
What He Needs to Do: “That’s going to be the difference—a good training camp and better than a solid preseason. That would put him over the hump, to show that he has the consistency to play in the NHL.”