Saturday, July 18, 2009

White Team Sweeps As Camp Closes

The Washington Capitals' Development Camp ended today with the third and final scrimmage. And team white swept all three games although they didn't dominate like they had in previous scrimmages. For the prospects it was a last ditch effort to impress management and coaches.

Michael Dubuc scored another two goals for seven goals total in three games. He had a tremendous camp. His contract is actually through Hershey, but that could change in a heartbeat. He scored 35 goals in 49 goals with South Carolina last season.

Others that impressed were Trevor Bruess, John Carlson, Dmitri Orlov and goaltender Braden Holtby.

Carlson felt he didn't have the best camp, but he has improved since last summer. He looked a bit human today with two bad turnovers. His overall performance was very good through camp. He looks like he can make a smooth transition into training camp by the end of August.

A player that made the switch from the white team to the blue one, Trevor Bruess also had an impressive camp. He is a hard working player, and it was apparent through out the scrimmages. Bruess had a couple of assists and worked well with the white team on a line with Andrew Glass and invitee Backman.

Another good defenseman was Dmitri Orlov who had some dynamite hits and handled himself well with the puck. He was usually partnered with Carlson and the duo played very well together. Orlov was considered a steal in the second round of the draft this year. He has the potential to go further and it would be interesting to see him with bigger faster players.

Braden Holtby had a good camp too. He had a great opening in the scrimmages when he posted a shut out in the 30 minutes he played. He came up with some good saves for his team and looked pretty good in net. He has filled out his pads from last summer, and looked much more confident in net.

A surprise to this years camp might be Garrett Zemlak, who played well in the final two scrimmages. He nearly posted a shut out in today's scrimmage, and he kept his blue team in it in the second scrimmage by stopping everything that came his way. Impressive considering the white team dominated the second game and eventually won the game on seven straight third period goals.

Those that might have come up on the disappointing side were some old hats. Like Francois Bouchard who didn't play bad, but didn't stand out either. Today he was a bit in and out of the play and only seemed to push his intensity button late in the third when he had a scoring chance that rang off the post.

Jake Hauswirth also had a so-so camp. After lighting the lamp five times in last summer's camp, he hardly made much noise this year. In the third scrimmage he was lined up with invitee Meyer and Joe Finley. The line was a big one and had their moments, but they couldn't get the puck in the net.

Finley played up as a forward in this game, and he did okay. There were moments where he was a little lost and his passes didn't connect, but he didn't do that badly. He admitted to reporters after the game that he was a bit uncomfortable at the position at first but if they wanted him to strap up as a goaltender he would do it.

All in all this was a good camp for the prospects. Injuries sidelined Stefan Della Rovere and Anton Gustafsson. It would have been nice to see them continue on but why chance hurting them any more. Della Rovere had a sprained shoulder that kept him from playing. Gustafsson sustained a concussion when he crashed into the post and cut his head. Both players were a bit disappointed in the way their camp ended, but both promised to come back healthy and ready in August.

Next up for the Capitals, training camp in August. Plus there might be a signing here or there to watch out for as GM George McPhee tinkers with his team.

I did a quick interview with Caps' prospect Garrett Mitchell as well and I will post that a little later tonight.

Caps Notes:
  • The Caps traded Keith Seabrook, a prospect drafted in the '06 draft, was traded to the Calgary Flames for future considerations. Who knows what those considerations are, maybe it's more hot dogs in the visiting GM's box. Actually this might be a player thing as Seabrook is from the Calgary area and plays for the Hitmen.
  • For more info on Development Camp, the Capitals have a page with videos and more at

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