Capitals

Quick Links

Prospect Report: Bowey earns first professional points

madisonbowey.jpg

Prospect Report: Bowey earns first professional points

Hershey update: 3-2-0-1, 5th in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 2-0-0-1

Madison Bowey had a big week as he earned his first professional point with an assist on Saturday and then scored his first professional goal on Sunday.

In what was a successful week for Hershey, the team's young offensive core continues to impress. Travis Boyd and Jakub Vrana both assisted on Chris Bourque's overtime winning goal against Hartford on Saturday. Vrana struck again on Sunday, scoring against Hartford with 13 seconds left in the game to tie it and earn the Bears a point in the standings.

Two of the team's top prospects were also included in Hockey's Future Top 50. Bowey came in at No. 47 and Vrana at No. 36. Hockey's Future has only released 21-50 thus far.

RELATED: Jill Sorenson challenges Capitals' Jay Beagle to archery contest

Other prospect notes:

In other list news, NHL.com released its list of the Caps top five prospects. Both Vrana and Bowey make the list as does another player currently on the Caps roster.

In South Carolina, goalie Vitek Vanecek earned his first professional win on Wednesday, turning aside 27 of 29 shots against the Florida Everblades. Despite the win, Vanecek has had his fair share of struggles in the early season. In four games played, Vanecek has a 3.81 GAA and .871 save percentage.

The news from Russia is a bit better as Ilya Samsonov earned his first shutout for Metallurg Magnitogorsk on Tuesday. Samsonov has put up impressive numbers in six appearances for Metallurg with a 1.51 GAA and .934 save percentage.

In the WHL, defnseman Connor Hobbs has already scored more goal than he had in all of last season. In 11 games, he has four goals and three assists.

SB Nation analyzed the NHL prospects from defending champion Providence College including Caps prospect Brian Pinho. According to the article, "His strength, skating ability and awareness in the offensive zone allow him to keep possession of the puck."

You can read the full analysis here.

In nearby Boston College, Zach Sanford is tied for the team lead with six points. Over the weekend, he scored two goals and two assists for the Eagles.

Thomas DiPauli is off to a strong start for Notre Dame with two goals and one assist in four games. You can watch his goal from Saturday's game against Minnesota Duluth here.

Saturday was a big night for freshman Steven Spinner who scored his first two NCAA goals to help lead the University of Nebraska-Omaha to a 4-2 win over Air Force. His first goal was also the first goal ever scored in the team's new arena.

The mystery surrounding Shane Gersich's status at North Dakota has been solved. Gersich appeared in North Dakota's first two games, but missed the next four and was listed only as day-to-day. The mystery injury that has kept him out of the lineup is actually not an injury at all, but mononucleosis according to the Grand Forks Herald.

MORE CAPITALS: Trotz wants Capitals to show more resilience

Quick Links

Get to know newest Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

michal-kempny-blackhawks-usati.png
USA Today Sports Images

Get to know newest Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

On Monday, with the NHL trade deadline approaching, the Washington Capitals addressed a need for blue line depth by acquiring Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

But before you begin to analyze how the move impacts the Capitals' outlook heading forward, lets take some time to get to know the newest member of the Caps.

Who is Michal Kempny?

Michal Kempny is a 27-year-old defenseman from the Czech Republic. He was born on Sept. 8, 1990 in Hodonin, a small town in southwestern Czech Republic near the border of Austria and Slovakia. Kempny began his hockey career playing for SHK Hodonin. Kempny knew very little english upon arriving to the NHL, but credited his girlfriend Showtime shows to helping him become more comfortable speaking the language. 

RELATED: UPDATED NHL POWER RANKINGS

What International Experience Does Michal Kempny Have?

Michal Kempny played professionally for HC Kometa Brno of the Czech Extraliga and Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. Kempny was a standout player on the international stage, playing for the Czech Republic U18, U20 and Men's National teams.

MORE ON THE TRADE: WHERE DOES KEMPNY FIT IN THE CAPS ROSTER

When Did Michal Kempny Make His NHL Debut?

Michal Kempny was signed to a one-year contract as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks in May, 2016 and made his NHL debut in October, 2016. Kempny scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 30, 2016 against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. Kempny appeared in 50 games for the Blackhawks during the 2016-17 season, recording two goals and six assists. The Blackhawks re-signed Kempny to a one-year extension during the offseason. Kempny played in 31 games this season before being traded to the Capitals.

What Type of Hockey Player is Michal Kempny?

Kempny is a 6-0, 194-pound defenseman with a strong left-handed shot. Known for his play on the offensive end, Kempny was never able to gain the trust of Joel Quenneville on the defensive end. But Kempny has a good bit of offensive upside, thanks to his passing skills and strong shot, which is why the Blackhawks took a flier on him in the first place and why he was an ideal trade candidate for the Capitals. But again, Kempny's size is less than ideal for a top-tier blue-liner and while he doesn't shy away from contact, he is rarely much of a physical presence. 

What Does Michal Kempny's Contract Look Like?

Michael Kempny is set to become an unrestricted free agent the the end of the 2017-18 season and has a cap hit of just $900,000.

RELATED: TROTZ REACTS TO RACIAL COMMENTS MADE BY CHICAGO FANS

Quick Links

Where Michael Kempny fits in the Caps' lineup

usatsi_10385432.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Where Michael Kempny fits in the Caps' lineup

If there was one thing the Caps needed to address at the trade deadline, it was defense.

Washington ranks only 20th in the NHL in defense with 2.98 goals against per game. Madison Bowey and Christian Djoos have played well in their rookie seasons, but their play has also been marked with rookie mistakes. To have both in the lineup in the playoffs would present an obvious weakness and matchup opportunities for opposing coaches to exploit.

On Monday, the Caps attempted to address their need for defensive depth by trading for defenseman Michal Kempny, a 27-year-old blue liner with good skating ability and offensive upside.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE LATEST NHL POWER RANKINGS

So what does this mean for the lineup?

Given the immediate need the Caps have on defense, it would not make sense to make a trade for a No. 7 defenseman who won't play. Having Kempny sitting in the press box does not address any of the team's issues on the blue line. Unless Brian MacLellan is planning on making another move, Kempny was brought in to play.

As a left-shot defenseman, he will most likely play on the left. Barry Trotz may ultimately need someone to play someone on their off-side, but asking a player who has played in only 31 games this season to step into a new team and play on the right is a lot to ask.

Let's get this out of the way: Kempny was not brought in to replace Brooks Orpik. His addition will not push Orpik to No. 7 in the lineup. Moving Orpik into the top four, however, certainly does not make this team better. If Orpik is staying put on the third pair, it seems most likely that Kempny will ultimately play to the left of John Carlson.

Here's a possible lineup:

Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny-John Carlson
Christian Djoos-Brooks Orpik

Extras: Taylor Chorney, Madison Bowey

If this is the route the Caps choose to go, this would most likely mean moving Bowey to Hershey for the rest of the regular season as he is still waiver exempt. Placing Chorney on waivers to move him to Hershey, however, would not be out of the question.

MORE CAPITALS: BLACKHAWKS FANS TOSSED AFTER DIRECTING RACIAL REMARKS AT SMITH-PELLY

The Orpik-Bowey pairing has looked slow in recent weeks and moving Djoos to that pair provides a lot more mobility. Trotz will ultimately need to shelter the third pair, but it is easier to shelter one defensive pair than shelter two rookies playing on two different pairs which was the situation facing Washington before the trade for Kempny.

Kempny may start on the third pair and have to work his way up, but, barrig any further moves or glaring chemistry issues, the most likely scenario is that we will ultimately see Kempny in the top-four.

A third-round draft pick may seem like a steep price for a defenseman who played only 31 games this season, but he played well whenever he was in the lineup. If he is able to step into Washington's top-four, that third-round pick ultimately will not look like such a high price tag.