Hershey update: 35-17-3-7, 1st in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 1-1-0-0
The Hershey Bears announced Wednesday that the team has added a pair of Caps prospects to the roster.
Defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler, 18, has been reassigned to Hershey after his team in Switzerland, the ZSC Linos, was eliminated from the playoffs. He recorded eight points in 40 games this season with the Lions.
Forward Kevin Elgestal, 19, signed an amateur tryout agreement for his second stint with the Bears. He joined the team at the end of last season, but did not appear in a game.
Elgestal comes to Hershey from Sweden where he played 16 games (12 points) with Frolunda HC and 27 games (five points) with HC Vita Hasten.
Do not expect either of them to crack the lineup right away. The point of bringing them to Hershey is to get them more familiar with the North American game. They will practice with the team, but it will take some time before head coach Troy Mann feels comfortable putting them into the lineup.
Peter Harling writes of Bowey, "His defensive game at the pro level has been what impresses the most. As he continues to adjust to playing against men, expect the confidence, and the offense to continue to improve. Bowey doesn’t look out of place in the AHL, and soon will push for his first look in the NHL. He is on pace for a top pairing spot in the future."
Bowey had 60 points in each of the last two seasons with Kelowna in the WHL, but the offense has taken a backseat to his defensive development in the AHL this season. He has handled the transition to the pros impressively well. Expect him to get a call-up or two to the NHL next season and challenge for a roster spot in 2017.
Defenseman Christian Djoos was profiled this week by Scott Seningen of the Hockey Writers.
Seningen writes, "Djoos doesn’t quite have the size of a player like Dmitry Orlov, but has the potential for Orlov’s type of offensive production. If Djoos can add some bulk to his frame, he could be in prime contention for some time at the NHL level with Washington."
The comparison to Orlov is apt when it comes to offensive skill, but Djoos has better defensive instincts and seems to make fewer mistakes in the defensive zone.
Djoos is listed on Hershey's website as 6 feet tall and only 162 pounds. His skill and hockey IQ are what sets him apart. If he was 190 pounds, he would be considered as good a prospect as Bowey if not better. He is always going to be on the smallish side, but if he bulks up a little, Washington will have a future NHLer on their hands.
Other prospect notes:
Lots of action in the college ranks over the week as the conference tournaments are underway.
In the Hockey East, both Brian Pinho (Providence) and Zach Sanford (Boston College) advanced to the semifinals while Thomas DiPauli's Notre Dame was ousted in the quarterfinals.
Shane Gersich helped lead North Dakota to a dominant series win over Colorado College in the NCHC playoffs, but Steven Spinner was not so fortunate as Nebraska-Omaha fell to Denver.
South Carolina goalie Vitek Vanecek turned aside 27 of 28 shots in a 3-1 win over Atlanta and was named the CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week for March 7-13.
In his last two games, Vanecek registered a .982 save percentage and one shutout. He has recovered impressively well for a young goalie from a midseason swoon in which he seemed to lose his starting role to Mark Dekanich.
Having said that, there's still plenty to work on.
Check out the highlights from Vanecek's win over Atlanta:
Vanecek shows great reflexes, but he still sits too far back in the crease and a bad call by the referee rescues him from giving up what would have been a terrible goal. He remains very much a work in progress.
Defenseman Colby Williams returned to action for the Regina Pats on Wednesday after missing 29 games for a procedure to repair the damage he suffered to his arm in the offseason. He recorded one assist in his return.
This will be a critical stretch for Williams to show that he is back to full strength. The laceration he suffered in the offseason caused nerve damage in his arm which is obviously a cause for concern. Getting the assist in his first game back is a good start, but he has a long way to go before he can fully allay the fears the Caps must have over his future potential.