With the Capitals’ rookie camp set to begin Sept. 11 in Estero, Florida (training home of the Tampa Bay Lightning), we thought we’d spend this week examining the organization’s top prospects at each position. Today, the blue line:
Ht/Wt: 5-11, 185
Acquired: Drafted in 5th round (137th overall) in 2012
Games: 73 (AHL, Hershey)
Penalty minutes: 132
Power play goals: 4
Scouting report: After appearing in 34 games for the Capitals in 2012-13 – probably before he was ready, Carrick did everything he was asked in his first full season in the AHL, leading all Hershey defensemen in points. Carrick’s 132 penalty minutes were by far the most of his career and just 30 of them came via six fighting majors. Carrick’s size makes him a vulnerable target and he will need to prove he can take big hits in the NHL before getting a shot on the Caps’ bottom pairing. He will also need to cut back on those penalty minutes if he hopes to be a reliable, full-time NHL defenseman.
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 195
Acquired: Drafted in 2nd round (53rd overall) in 2013
Games: 58 (WHL, Kelowna)
Penalty minutes: 66
Power play goals: 6
Shorthanded goals: 2
Scouting report: The Caps could not be happier with the development Bowey has made since his draft year two summers ago. Bowey can skate like the wind, has good offensive instincts and learned to play a shutdown role in his final season in Kelowna last season. His overall skill set is probably good enough to put him on the Caps’ opening night roster, but he’ll need to learn to play against men and spending at least half a season in the AHL would do wonders for Bowey’s development and confidence. The Caps need to take it slowly with Bowey and all indications are they will, but he has the potential to be a top-four blue liner for them at around the same time Brooks Orpik begins showing his age.
Ht/Wt: 5-11, 158
Acquired: Drafted in 7th round (195th overall) in 2012
Games: 50 (Swedish League, Brynas)
Penalty minutes: 22
Scouting report: In two seasons in the Swedish League, Djoos has shown he can move the puck quickly out of his own zone by either carrying it or head-manning it, but he’ll need to prove he can do it at the pro level. He’s one of three rookies -- Bowey and Tyler Lewington are the others – competing for a job with the Bears this season, with one likely to begin the season with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. Djoos is undersized but has the offensive upside to keep things interesting at training camp.
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 189
Acquired: Drafted in 7th round (204th overall) in 2014
Games: 69 (WHL, Medicine Hat)
Penalty minutes: 113
Power play goals: 2
Scouting report: Lewington plays bigger than his body suggests but he added an offensive flair to his game last season, establishing career highs in goals, assists and points. Lewington’s teammates and coaches rave about his leadership qualities and his compete level is off the charts. A first-year pro, it would not be a surprise if he started the season in South Carolina and quickly made the jump to the AHL.
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 220
Acquired: Drafted in 2nd round (57th overall) in 2015
Games: 41 (Swiss League, Zurich)
Penalty minutes: 39
Scouting report: You can’t teach size and Siegenthaler has plenty of it. He impressed the Caps’ coaching staff in his first development camp with his skating ability and physicality and he’ll be in Estero getting a longer look during the four-team rookie tournament that includes the Lightning, Panthers and Predators. Siegenthaler is expected to return to Zurich next season, where he’ll continue to work on his overall game under the eye of former NHL coach Marc Crawford.
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 187
Acquired: Drafted in 5th round (143rd overall) in 2015
Games: 45 (WHL, Regina/Medicine Hat)
Penalty minutes: 36
Scouting report: Hobbs is a hard-skating, hard-hitting blue liner who was taken by the Capitals one round before they took his Regina defense partner Colby Williams. Hobbs will require some seasoning under former NHL head coach John Paddock in his third season in the WHL, which will begin without Williams, who suffered an upper-body injury in July, by his side.
MORE CAPITALS: Galiev, Vrana add plenty of skill on right side