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Capitals 2017-18 Prospect Preview: Madison Bowey

Capitals 2017-18 Prospect Preview: Madison Bowey


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.

PROSPECT PREVIEWS: Jakub Vrana | Nathan Walker | Chandler Stephenson | Christian Djoos


Position: Defenseman
Age: 22
Height: 6-2
Weight: 206
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

PREVIEWING 2017-18 BREAKOUT CANDIDATES: Tom Wilson | Brett Connolly | Andre Burakovsky

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.”  

RELATED: Ranking the 10 best Capitals players of all time

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.”

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We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington


We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

USA Today Sports

NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.