With the Washington Capitals' regular season in full swing, it's important that we not lose track of their top prospects.
Caps fans will want to know where these prospects are playing, how they are performing and whether or not they are staying healthy.
With that in mind, here are the latest updates on the Washington Capitals' top prospects. The ranking is based on the Washington Capitals' Top 10 Prospects for 2013, according to Hockey Prospectus. Each prospect will be listed with his position, along with his team and the league he is currently playing in. His year-to-date statistics will then be provided, along with an update on his progress.
Note: All statistics updated through Oct. 15 courtesy of the league referenced in parenthesis in the title of each slide unless noted otherwise.
6 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, -2, 7 PIMs
Although he has yet to register a point in his young NHL career, Tom Wilson is till managing to leave an impression on his opponents. The 19-year-old is third on the team with 17 hits, behind only Troy Brouwer (21) and Alex Ovechkin (19). Plus, Wilson is the only Capitals player with a fighting major, according to HockeyFights.com.
In the process, Wilson is also leaving an impression on his teammates. Karl Alzner spoke to Mike Harris of The Washington Times about Wilson on Oct. 11:
I haven’t known him for too long, but that’s one of the things I heard right away, that he’s kind of mean out there. He kind of likes to get in the mix, stand up for his teammates. It’s nice to have guys like that on your team. Boston’s full of them, and they seem to continue to win.
However, one rather significant question looms for Wilson and the Capitals in the next few days. This was discussed By Rebecaa Henschel of JapersRink.com on Oct. 14:
Saturday night’s debacle against Colorado marked the fifth game of the season for the Caps—and, perhaps more importantly, it marked the fifth game in which Tom Wilson was in the lineup, bringing him past the halfway point of his evaluation period. Should the team decide to send him back to the OHL, they only have about a week to do so (provided he stays in the lineup for the next four games) without ticking off a year of his three-year entry-level contract; keep him around for that tenth game and beyond, and that first year is burned.
True, the first year of Wilson's contract would be burned if he were kept with the Capitals for 10 games and beyond. However, the team would burn an opportunity for Wilson to learn at the professional level if they sent him back to the OHL. The Caps should keep the kid on the big club and let him soak up the experience like a sponge. Besides, he provides a physical presence that is sorely lacking with the continued absence of John Erskine.
2 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 P, 0, 2 PIMs
Riley Barber has gotten his college hockey season off to a great start, according to his profile at HockeyDB.com. He is averaging more than three points per game and exactly two goals per game.
Barber's performance earned him an honor from the NCHC, the conference that Barber's Miami of Ohio Redhawks are a member of, according to the conference's official Twitter account:
Plus, Barber earned an even more impressive distinction in the process, as tweeted by The Grand Forks Herald:
After one weekend, Miami's Riley Barber leads the nation wth 7 points. UND's Rocco Grimaldi and MU's Austin Czarnik are tied for 3rd with 5.— Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) October 14, 2013
Keep up the good work, Barber.
8 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 P, +4, 20 PIMs
Bowey is helping to lead another strong group of offensively-gifted defensemen, something his team is known for. On Oct. 12, Rich Abney of KelownaRockets.com wrote about this tradition, and how Bowey and his fellow blueliners may set a new standard:
The Rockets have long been known for their defensive core, producing a number of tremendous NHLers. The defensive corps of the 2003 WHL Championship winning team is often regarded as the golden standard, and rightfully so. That blue line had Duncan Keith, Josh Gorges, Shea Weber, Brett Palin, Mike Card, and Tomas Slovak, who scored 18 times that season. They totaled 53 goals, the highest total output of any defense in Rockets history. This year's group is on pace for 99.
This record pace gives Caps fans yet another reason to keep tabs on Bowey all season long.
8 GP, 6 G, 6 A, 12 P, -1, 0 PIMs
Andre Burakovsky is playing well for the Erie Otters in the early going of the OHL season.
For some reason, the OHL website does not list the 18-year-old OHL newcomer amongst the league's rookies. However, the Erie Otters stepped in earlier today to make sure everyone knows where Burakovsky stands among the league's first-year players, via the team's official Twitter account:
Burakovsky seems to be adjusting nicely to the North American game.
2 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, -4, 2 PIMs
Evgeny Kuznetsov has played all of two games this season for Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL, his hometown team. The 21-year-old has missed time due to an injured shoulder.
On Oct. 11, Igor Kleyner of RussianMachineNeverBreaks.com translated a Kuznetsov interview conducted by R-Sport, writing that "Kuznetsov also said that his shoulder is healing well; he is expected to make his comeback from the injury on Wednesday, when his Traktor faces off against the KHL powerhouse SKA St Petersburg."
In the meantime, speculation on Kuznetsov's arrival in DC has not died down, as evidenced by this tweet from Fantasy Hockey on Oct. 14:
Evgeny Kuznetsov's KHL team ends their reg. season on March 4th - Capitals end their reg. season on April 13th - Just sayin #fantasyhockey— Darren FantasyHockey (@FantasyHockeyDK) October 14, 2013
It should be an interesting winter, in Chelyabinsk and in Washington alike.