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Prospect Report: Carrick producing impressive numbers

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Prospect Report: Carrick producing impressive numbers

Hershey update: 12-6-1-5, 2nd in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 2-0-1-1

There was a lot of excitement surrounding defenseman Madison Bowey heading into the season and understandably so. Bowey is considered one of the Caps top prospects and played incredibly well with Kelowna of the WHL. He also won gold with Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior tournament in 2015.

Bowey's debut overshadowed fellow defenseman Connor Carrick who was entering his third season in Hershey. Carrick's performance this season, however, is becoming impossible to ignore.

In three games last week, Carrick scored three goals and two assists. His 13 points on the season are tied for third on the team. That's not third among defensemen, that's third among all skaters on the team.

Carrick may be a bit small (5-foot-11, 185 pounds), but with the Caps dealing with a few injuries on the blue line, don't be surprised if his performance earns him a call-up sometime soon.

Nathan Walker is finding his groove with another big week (two goals, one assist). Considering he tore his ACL in January, his 10 points this season are very impressive.

Travis Boyd is enjoying his first season as a pro and is proving he has good instincts to go with his tremendous skill. Boyd had two assists last week, one of which came on a really nice play to setup Chris Bourque for the game-winner on Saturday. Watch it here:

Also, Hershey had its teddy bear toss on Sunday which is always awesome.

RELATED: Oshie shares special bond with his father

Other prospect notes:

A pair of prospects have received invites to their respective national team's junior camps. Vitek Vanecek was invited to join the Czech Republic and Ilya Samsonov was invited to Russia's camp.

Vanecek is having a tremendous season in the ECHL while Samsonov is putting up historic numbers for an 18 year old in the KHL.

Samsonov will get a new teammate this week as former Cap Alexander Semin has signed with his KHL team Magnitogorsk Metallurg for the rest of the season. Let's hope Semin has nothing but good things to say about the only NHL team in which he was able to find consistent success.

Connor Hobbs and Colby Williams actually got to play together last week. The two defensemen are teammates on the Regina Pats of the WHL, but both have dealt with injury issues this season that has kept one or the other out of the lineup. Now, finally together, Hobbs tallied one goal and an assist and Williams had one assist over the week.

Hobbs currently leads the team's defensemen in points with 17.

In what is becoming a weekly tradition, it's time to look at what Thomas DiPauli did for Notre Dame. In Friday's win over UMass, DiPauli fired a backhand from above the circle that somehow managed to find the back of the net.

DiPauli also tallied two assists in the team's win on Saturday, including a very nice play from behind the net. Watch it here:

DiPauli now owns a three-game point streak and leads Notre Dame with seven goals on the season.

MORE CAPITALS: Trotz moves into Top 10 in NHL victories

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!