The Washington Times - March 28, 2012, 01:23AM

Olie Kolzig didn’t need to see that much of Philipp Grubauer to know the young goaltender had a bright future. Back in November, the Washington Capitals’ associate goaltending coach said the prospect deserved to be playing in the American Hockey League instead of the ECHL.

“Sometimes you just have to deal with what you’re dealt, and when you’re good enough and if you’re good enough, you’ll advance,” Kolzig said in a phone interview earlier in the season. “I don’t think there’s any issue that Philipp Grubauer is not only good enough for the American League, but in the short time I’ve worked with him, I think he’s got a good shot of playing in the NHL one day.”

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Grubauer shined with the South Carolina Stingrays, but he hurt his right wrist recently and underwent surgery that will very likely end his season, Caps general manager George McPhee said.

He had a torn tendon in the wrist and the doctor went in to explore and see how serious it was,” McPhee said Tuesday. “And it was serious enough that they had to pin it down.”

Grubauer went 23-13-5 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in his first professional season. The 20-year-old earned countless rookie and goaltender honors throughout the year, and should be on pace to join the Hershey Bears next season.

McPhee said he’s “hoping” Grubauer will be ready for the Caps’ development camp in July. And while that’s good news moving forward, this is a painful end to another nice year for the Caps’ second-best goaltending prospect in the system behind Braden Holtby.

We really liked him,” McPhee said. “Obviously, we liked him enough to draft him and then after Dave Prior got to work with him for a little bit we said ‘Boy, this guy’s even better than I thought.’ So we’re certainly happy that he’s turning out to be as good as he is. And he’s played a lot of hockey this year so he should be even better next year.”