Standouts From The First Scrimmage of Development Camp
Today was the first intrasquad scrimmage of the Washington Capitals Development Camp and a couple players stood out. Most surprisingly, Michal Cajkovsky.
This years first round draft pick Jakub Vrana stood out the most in the first scrimmage of the Capitals Development Camp at their practice and training facility in Arlington, Virginia. Vrana was the first player to score in the scrimmage today when the teams did a short shootout to start the second period after the first period went scoreless.
Vrana went down the middle of the ice and drifted off to the right. As he closed in on the white teams goalie he turned around and briefly skated backwards before pulling the puck across the crease from his backhand, back to his forehand and leaving the goalie looking silly. As he went back to the bench he had a huge smile on his face. Just like Ovechkin, he LOVES to score. You can see the goal here.
Later on in the scrimmage Vrana deked out a top Capitals prospect in defenseman Madison Bowey. As Bowey was skating backwards attempting to defend Vrana, Vrana made a very smooth and easy looking deke where he just put the puck on his backhand and slid the puck around Bowey’s back to his forehand and skated around him. This does not sounds like not much but Madison Bowey is a very sound defender so deking out Bowey like that is harder then it sounds.
Vrana played on a line with last years first round draft pick, Andre Burakovsky who has a good chance of seeing some playing time with the Capitals this season. The duo (Burakovsky at center and Vrana at right wing) was pretty entertaining to watch. The Caps are testing Burakovksy at center so that will be something to everyone should keep an eye on. Burakovsky did score two goals. So far so good.
Another player that caught my eye and attention was Travis Boyd. Boyd, was a middle-of-the-pack player in last years Development Camp. Today, Boyd created multiple scoring chances for the red squad and in one shift in the first period showed off some pretty good stick work.
Michal Cajkovsky, who was a free agent signee of the Capitals and spent time in the Capitals system with the Reading Royals in the ECHL and the Hershey Bears in the AHL, caught my eye today as well. Cajkovsky is a big (6 foot 3, 206 pounds) defenseman who is solid defensively but won’t hesitate to jump into the play on the transition to offense. Cajkovsky has good speed for a guy who is as big as he is. He also loves to throw his weight around when in his own zone.
Besides the Burakovsky-Vrana duo the white squad putting a line of Nathan Walker, Chandler Stephenson, and Riley Barber together was interesting. All three are draft picks of the Capitals and are top prospects of the organization. On one instance, Nathan Walker lined up Travis Boyd on the red squads left defensive zone face-off circle, stole the puck from Boyd, took it across the zone and set up Chandler Stephenson for a centering pass in the slot that lead to a goal. This line seems to work really well together and could potentially all be playing for the Caps (maybe on a line) in the next few years.
Tommorrow’s scrimmage will take place at Kettler Capitals Iceplex at 10:30 am.
You can find my Capitals Development Camp guide here.
Make sure for follow me on twitter (@whirschsports) for Development Camp updates and don’t be afraid to seek me out if you are in attendance tomorrow or for Fan Fest on Saturday!