The Capitals prospects head to Florida on Thursday for the 2018 Prospects Showcase. Washington’s 23-man roster for the tournament was released on Wednesday and features six of the team’s seven draft picks from the 2018 entry draft.
The Caps’ prospects will play the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning prospects starting on Saturday. In total, Washington will play three games. You can listen on Caps 24/7 Radio.
While you’re listening, here are the players you should be paying attention to.
The Caps’ first round pick in 2018, Alexeyev was impressive in development camp and will look to build on that momentum in the tournament. With the Caps’ roster on defense essentially set plus several prospects in Hershey chomping at the bit for their chance at cracking the NHL, there’s virtually no scenario in which Alexeyev does not play in the WHL this year with his junior team, Red Deer. Getting drafted in the first round, however, carries with it high expectations and greater scrutiny. While he may not be playing for an NHL job this year, he will still be expected to perform well in a tournament against other prospects.
Clark was selected by the Caps 47th overall in the 2018 draft, making him the highest drafted forward by Washington since Jakub Vrana was taken in the first round in 2014. In terms of high-end offensive talent, the prospect cupboard is pretty bare for Washington. For now, it is not a pressing issue, but Alex Ovechkin won’t win the Rocket Richard forever. At some point, the Caps will need to find offense from within the pipeline. If Clark can develop into a productive NHL forward, it will go a long way towards filling the offensive void among the team’s prospects.
Gersich has already experienced the highest level of hockey as he played in three NHL games last season and an additional two playoff games. You know he wants to stick around in Washington this year, but chances are he is headed to Hershey. If he wants to show he’s ready to compete for one of the few open roster spots on the Caps, he needs to be dominant in Florida. As someone who has already played at the NHL level, if he’s not the best player on the ice every shift, it will be a disappointment.
The big question for Samsonov this season is how he will adjust to the North American game. This tournament will be the first competitive hockey he has played since making the jump from the KHL in the spring. It will be fascinating to see just how he handles this first test and can provide a baseline for his adjustment. The biggest thing to watch is how quickly he reacts to the puck in the faster North American game.
Siegenthaler is in a similar situation to Gersich. While the Caps’ defense for the upcoming season looks set, Siegenthaler could be the next man up if there is an injury in Washington. Among the team’s prospect defensemen, Siegenthaler looks to be the most NHL ready which means he should be dominant playing against other prospects. If you can’t defend against Tampa Bay’s prospect forwards, how will you handle playing against Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos?
Here is the Capitals’ full roster for the tournament:
Alexander Alexeyev, D, drafted by Washington in the first round (31st overall) in 2018 draft
Kristofers Bindulis, D, signed with Washington as a free agent in 2017
Kody Clark, F, drafted by Washington in the second round (47th overall) in the 2018 draft
Martin Fehervary, D, drafted by Washington in the second round (46th overall) in the 2018 draft
Eric Florchuk, F, drafted by Washington in the seventh round (217th overall) in the 2018 draft
Tobias Geisser, D, drafted by Washington in the fourth round (120th overall) in the 2017 draft
Shane Gersich, F, drafted by Washington in the fifth round (134th overall) in the 2014 draft
Connor Hobbs, D. drafted by Washington in the fifth round (143rd overall) in the 2015 draft
Juuso Ikonen, F, signed with Washington as a free agent in 2018
Lucas Johansen, D, drafted by Washington in the first round (28th overall) in the 2016 draft
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, F, drafted by Washington in the fifth round (147th overall) in the 2016 draft
Maximilian Kammerer, F, signed with Washington as a free agent in 2018
Alex Kannok-Leipert, D, drafted by Washington in the sixth round (161st overall) in the 2018 draft
Beck Malenstyn, F, drafted by Washington in the fifth round (145th overall) in the 2016 draft
Kristian Roykas Marthinsen, F, drafted by Washington in the seventh round (213th overall) in the 2017 draft
Mason Mitchell, F, signed with Washington as a free agent in 2017
Garrett Pilon, F, drafted by Washington in the third round (87th overall) in the 2016 draft
Brian Pinho, F, drafted by Washington in the sixth round (174th overall) in the 2013 draft
Ilya Samsonov, G, drafted by Washington in the first round (22nd overall) in the 2015 draft
Jonas Siegenthaler, D, drafted by Washington in the second round (57th overall) in the 2015 draft
Mark Simpson, C, a free agent invite
Riley Sutter, F, drafted by Washington in the third round (93rd overall) in the 2018 draft
Logan Thompson, G, a free agent invite
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