Bruce Boudreau was in a chipper mood Saturday afternoon, minutes after the Capitals’ development camp wrapped up with the final scrimmage. Red beat White 5-2 (scoring details later), but the coach was generally impressed with the prospects at large.
“I looked at the effort that these kids put forth, today included, and as a coach you’re watching a lot of the systems, if the guys got it,” he said. “They played like they got it, which was really good.”
Some guys jumped out, like sixth-round pick Travis Boyd (three goals and three assists in three scrimmages) and seventh-rounder Garrett Haar, who George McPhee called the biggest surprise of the week.
“[Boyd] is a smart player,” McPhee said. “For 17 years old to be out there sticking his nose in playing the way he did and showing us that he understands the game and thinks the game real well.”
It’s tough to make grand pronouncements after a week of watching 17- to 23-year-old players, Boudreau said, but he pointed to the goalies as being particularly good in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I thought in this game especially, it ends up 5-2, but I thought the white outplayed the red for maybe the first time this week,” Boudreau said. “I thought the goalies were really the difference.”
Philipp Grubauer was the most developed goalie at this camp, but red starter Brandon Anderson in particular was impressive. Goaltending coach Dave Prior said earlier the week Anderson is “becoming a great goalie.”
“I felt pretty good out there this whole week and felt pretty confident,” Anderson said. “It’s good to hear that, but at the same time I haven’t made it and even if/when I do make it, I still gotta work hard every day and get better every day.”
Free agent invitee T.J. Syner had two goals, including the game-winner. Fellow invitees Karl Stollery and Reid Edmondson scored for red, and prospect Stan Galiev added an empty-netter. Invitees Andrew Cherniwchan and Luke Lockhart scored for white.
At least one prospect appears to be coming back to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for fall camp, as Scott Wietecha (pronounced why-tek-ah) wrote on Twitter that he was invited back.
Other observations from Saturday’s scrimmage:
Mattias Sjogren is a big guy and usually has no problem muscling guys out of the faceoff circle. He did that all week against highly touted prospect Cody Eakin.
Galiev has some wheels and good vision, but another year in junior could help his decision-making abilities.
Danick Paquette was skating around with intention to hit everyone and everything in the first period but toned his game down later on. He’d like to be with the Caps this year but realistically is probably ticketed for South Carolina of the ECHL.