Anton Gustafsson has a familiar surname in these parts. The son of Cap legend Bengt Gustafsson, Anton did not make it to last year's camp due to a back injury. This year will be a chance for the Capitals to see what this first round pick can do. Once rated second on the list of Capital's top prospects (compiled by Hockeysfuture.com) he comes into camp with the most to prove. Anton only played 25 games last season for Bofors IK in Sweden (in his hometown) but scored six goals and four assists in that time. A good two-way centerman, Gustafsson will have to work for a spot in the Capitals' organization. He was chosen 21st overall (1st round) in the '08 Entry Draft.
Dmitry Kugryshev was another Capitals' prospect that attended last summer's camp and raised a few eyebrows. He is a talented forward that played in the QMJHL for the Quebec Ramparts. He had an immediate impact becoming the top scoring rookie in the league with 74 points (34 goals and 40 assists). He was also on the Russian junior national team that placed third in last years World Junior Championship. What you may not know about Kugryshev is that he has his own blog: http://www.icedaily.com/action/blogsByPlayer?id=34. Although he updates it rather sporadically. He was selected 58th overall (2nd round) in the '08 draft.
Andrew Glass had a rather unique way of getting drafted by the Capitals. According to the Caps PR:
He was taking a water break in his truck from his self-owned Nobel and Greenlawn Landscaping company when the Caps called him two years ago to let him know he was drafted.
Glass will be returning as a sophomore to Boston University in the fall. He was a member of the BU Terrier team that won the national title at the Frozen Four and the Verizon Center. This will be his third development camp for the Capitals. Glass was drafted by Washington 199th overall (7th round) in the '07 Entry Draft.
Another returning prospect to this year's camp is Joel Broda who split his time between Moose Jaw and Calagary in the WHL this past season. Broda has a nose for scoring and he led the league with 53 goals in 67 games with his two teams. He also comes from an impressive hockey family line as his distant relative was a goaltending legend with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Walter "Turk" Broda. "Turk" was awarded two Vezina Trophies and helped the Leafs to 5 Stanley Cups in the '40s and '50s. Joel Broda was taken 144th overall (5th round) in the '08 Entry Draft.
Eric Mestery will also grace our presence at Kettler. A tall, lanky stay-at-home defenseman, Mestery is ranked 16th on the list of top prospects for the Capitals according to Hockeysfuture.com. He was traded early last season from Tri-City to play with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. With the slew of puck moving defensemen, Mestery's talents as a dependable blue liner will make him an important part of the Caps future. Mestery was the Capitals' 57th overall pick (second round) in the '08 draft.
The final two players on the Caps roster of development camp attendees are two players that will soon be teammates.
Greg Burke is slated to play college hockey at the University of New Hampshire in the fall. Last year he played in the USHL for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. He didn't get much ice time (only started in 8 games) due to injury. Before his misfortune, Burke was apart of the World Junior A Challenge as a representative for Team USA. It was USA's first championship win. Burke was picked 174th overall (6th round) in the '08 Entry Draft.
Joining Burke at UNH is Phil DeSimone who was one of only 27 players to be named USHL's Player of the Year in '06-'07. That year when he played for Sioux City he tallied 73 points in 60 games. This fall he will be a junior when he rejoins his college team. DeSimone was selected 84th overall (3rd round) in '07.
That is the entire list that was released by the Caps as players that will be attending this year's Capitals Development Camp. You may see a few more players than just the 24 on the list on the ice. Those will be invitees (Jake Hauswirth was one such invitee last summer). Some of those players could be future free agent signings or just players to make a robust roster for practices and scrimmages. We will know more about them tomorrow.
Players will be split into two groups (Group A and Group B) and will hit the ice at different times. Players may switch back and forth between Groups. Group A will take the ice in the morning at 10 a.m. The first scrimmage is not slated until Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. There will be another scrimmage on Thursday and the final scrimmage on Saturday.
A full schedule and list of players can be found on the Capitals' website. It's like Christmas in July, hockey back in DC! See you at Kettler.