Madison Bowey was one of two prospects that Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney mentioned by name on Monday when asked about the youngsters who might contribute in Washington next season.
The other player was winger Jakub Vrana, whom J.J. Regan wrote about here.
As for Bowey, Mahoney said he suspects that the 2013 second rounder would have made his NHL debut last season had he not suffered a lacerated ankle tendon in late December. The injury required surgery as well as a lengthy recovery proccess.
“It’s unfortunate that Madison had a couple of injuries there, especially the one [to his ankle],” Mahoney said in a pre-draft media call this week. “But injuries happen all the time and you work your way through it.”
Mahoney added: “Madison is pretty gifted athletically and I think his recovery from those things is going to be very good just because of his athleticism and the type of body that he has.”
Bowey returned to the Bears' lineup in mid-March. Then, just as he was rediscovering his pre-injury form, he took a puck off the face in early April and missed a few more games.
The injuries pretty much ruined any chance he had of getting a game or two in Washington. And there weren't many chances to begin with, given the Capitals' good health and veteran-laden lineup.
“Do I think he would have had an opportunity to play some games with the Capitals? I think there was a very good chance, so it’s unfortunate that he did have the injuries and maybe that kept him from seeing some games,” Mahoney said.
Instead, Bowey saw all of his 2016-17 game action in Hershey, where finshed with three goals and 11 assists in 34 games. The 6 foot 2, 206-pound native of Winnipeg also had two goals and two assists in 10 postseason contests.
In the preseason a year ago, Bowey, a right shot, was mostly good and even scored a game-tying goal against the Hurricanes. But he suffered an upper body injury two contests later and was demoted shortly thereafter.
When Bowey arrives in Arlington, Va. a few months from now, he's going to find something that did not exist last preseason: an opening (or perhaps two) for a young defenseman, depending on how things unfold in the expansion draft and free agency.
“As far as camp, it’s up to him to come in and hit the pavement running and try to challenge for a spot,” Mahoney said.
Speaking in general terms, Mahoney acknowledged that a handful of prospects are going to be in the running for spots on the Capitals' opening night roster.
“It’s really up to those players to come in and to impress the coaches during training camp and the exhibition season, and try to win a spot on the big club,” Mahoney said. “It’s up to them; it’s going to depend on what they do off the ice and on the ice during the offseason here and come to camp and try to win a spot.”
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