- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 10, 2011

It’s mostly a collection of drills and tests to see what prospects are made of, but this week’s Capitals development camp is a chance to see tomorrow’s players today. There might not be a can’t-miss prospect at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the next six days, but it’s a showcase for the depth of youth in the organization.

“I can’t talk enough about how well we’ve done in the draft recently,” general manager George McPhee said late last month.

The fruits of that drafting and development will be on display starting Monday with players such as centers Cody Eakin and Stanislav Galiev and defenseman Dmitri Orlov taking the ice. In all, the Caps will have 20 prospects in attendance, including right wing Danick Paquette, the player acquired Friday from the Winnipeg Jets for Eric Fehr.

But even with Evgeny Kuznetsov — who will spend another season in Russia — out while recovering from shoulder surgery, having three players who participated in the Memorial Cup (Eakin, Galiev and defenseman Brett Flemming) more than makes up for it.

Flemming, who played for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, is a bit further away from the NHL than Orlov, who came over to North America knowing his immediate future likely would be with the Bears of the AHL but could be a candidate to shuttle between Hershey and Washington this season.

Galiev, who scored 37 goals in 65 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs this past year, has adapted well to the North American game.

Eakin, though, appears to be the closest of any of these prospects to having a full-time space at Kettler with the Caps. With the Swift Current Broncos and Kootenay Ice, he piled up 83 points in 56 games.

“Cody Eakin is about as well-rounded a player as you’re going to find,” McPhee said. “He’s going to be a nice player at this level.”

Fans will get a chance to see a glimpse of Eakin and the others this week as all sessions are free and open to the public. Camp starts at 9:45 a.m.

• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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