Cuts continued on Thursday as the Capitals got down to a more comfortable four goalies in camp by sending Philipp Grubauer to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.
Grubauer, 20, is eligible to return to juniors, but goaltending coach Dave Prior told The Washington Times last week that he would not go back as an overage player. Instead, he’ll likely be the starter for the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.
Prior – like with Michal Neuvirth – feels Grubauer’s time in the Ontario Hockey League with the Kingston Frontenacs fast-tracked his career.
“Philipp’s a smart kid, and he first came and played in an under-17 tournament in Canada and went to a major junior game – I think it was London and Windsor – and he knew right away he couldn’t find hockey in europe of that caliber,” Prior said. “So he knew at that time he wants to come to North America to play and it definitely benefitted him.
“For a goaltender, you’re facing the best players you can face in the world in your age group, so it certainly helps your development.”
A day earlier, the Caps sent Brandon Anderson back to his junior team, the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League. And though Anderson struggled in this camp, Prior had good words to say about him.
“I’m really pleased with him,” he said. “I would say he’s more talented than I gave him credit for when we did sign him, so that’s a bonus because I thought he was talented enough to be interested in him. But he’s shown me more.”
The four goalies left in camp are Tomas Vokoun, Neuvirth, Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin.