Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Off the Radar: Dark Horses at Camp

D-man Sam Carrier is one of a few new faces that could make an impact.
With Capitals development camp starting on Monday, many people are excited to get out to Kettler Capitals Iceplex to see both near and distant future Caps and get a glimpse of what they may be able to bring to the big club.  Almost all of DC's top prospects will be there, including Cody Eakin, Stan Galiev, Dmitry Orlov, and Mattias Sjogren, though here will be one notable absence as top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov is currently rehabbing from shoulder surgery.  But outside of those elite guys, there are alot of young players who will be entering camp with much less fanfare and something to prove, perhaps earning an invite back for training camp in September.  And so, I've compiled a list of younger guns who may be pleasant surprises in the fall.

Sam Carrier, D: Carrier, 19, played for the QMJHL's Lewiston Maineiacs this past year, suiting up for 61 regular season games and tallying 11 goals to go along with 39 assists.  Those 50 points were good enough for eighth among defensemen in the QMJHL.  The Varennes, Quebec native profiles as a mainly offensive defenseman with good skating and puck-carrying skills.  Despite his comparatively small size for a blueliner, his primary asset is his shot, which proves effective on the man advantage; he could eventually blossom into a power play quarterback.  Carrier is ranked a 7 (out of 10) by Hockey's Future.
Garrett Mitchell, F: Mitchell, 20, played for the WHL's Regina Pats this past year, suiting up for 70 games an tallying 18 goals to go along with 34 assists.  He was named captain of the Pats this season as well, and accrued 140 penalty minutes which was good enough to lead the team.  The Regina, Saskatchewan native has third-line checking potential; he is player not unlike a Jason Chimera who can use speed to agitate and provide energy in a bottom-six role as well as add a little bit of scoring punch.  Mitchell is ranked a 5 (out of 10) by Hockey's Future.
Patrick Wey, D: Wey, 20, played for Hockey East's Boston College Eagles last season, suiting up for 37 games and tallying one goal and seven assists for BC. He was also part of the United States squad that competed at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships, playing in six games and adding a bronze medal to his ledger.  The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, like Carrier, profiles mainly as a puck mover who likes to become involved in the play.  He has good size and skills, but sometimes strays from assignments away from the play, which has held him back at times and he must improve that to have a big impact.  Wey is ranked a 6.5 (out of 10) by Hockey's Future.
Dustin Stevenson, D: Stevenson, 21, played for the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays last season, suiting up for 63 games and tallying three goals and nine assists in his first season as a professional.  The Gull Lake, Saskatchewan native is massive, standing at 6-5 and weighing in at 220, and obviously his size is his primary asset. He uses it well along with his checking to intimidate the opposition and in short, he has a mean streak that DC could use for sure.  He can also move the puck a little and he has a big shot because of his size. However, as he gets older and becomes more accustomed to playing as a pro, he will need to get smarter in order to take his game to the next level as he finds he is no longer the biggest kid on the ice. Stevenson is ranked a 5 (out of 10) by Hockey's Future.

Group A hits the ice for practice at 9:45 AM on Monday at KCI.
Information from Hockey's Future was used in this report.

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