- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2006

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Washington Capitals yesterday signed right wing Stephen Werner to an amateur tryout contract that takes effect immediately, followed by a two-year contract that takes effect July 1. He has been assigned to Hershey of the American Hockey League.

Werner, 21, a Chevy Chase native, joins Caps captain Jeff Halpern of Potomac as the only locally produced players to be signed by an NHL team. Werner just completed his four-year career at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with 116 points in 143 games.

“He’s a very mature kid,” Caps general manager George McPhee said. “We wanted to get him signed as soon as his season was over and get him right into action not unlike what we did with Halpern seven years ago. …

“He is a player who has NHL legs, NHL strength and size [6-foot, 197] and a great shot, all great attributes to have in today’s NHL. He’ll have to develop over the next year or so to bring out those things all NHL players need — be good every night, be consistent, play the NHL game.”

Werner played for both the Junior and Little Caps as a youth and played on the gold medal-winning U.S. entries in the 2004 world junior championships and the 2002 world U-18 championships.

Dave Fay

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