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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 Draft Tracker

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Draft Tracker

The 2018 NHL Draft starts on Friday with the first round and runs through Saturday. Here's a running tracker of the Caps' picks.

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.

2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.

3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.

4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.

6th round, 186th overall: 

7th round, 217th overall: 

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

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USA TODAY Sports

GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”

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