Washington Capitals prospects took part in a scrimmage late Thursday evening at Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Md., displaying their talents to both the coaching staff and the fans who had attended. A standing room only crowd was present as the two teams took part in a 4-on-4 scrimmage. Caps Assistant Coach Glen Hanlon changed up the lines frequently with the blow of a whistle. Here are just a few of the top stars from Thursday’s no-contact match.
The most talented shooter on display was 20-year-old Jonas Johansson for Team Black, who just finished his second season in Kamloops of the WHL. It could have been a far better outcome for Johansson, who provided an ambush of pucks at the net. A few of his shots sailed too high as he aimed top shelf, but he still was able to score an ample amount of goals for his team. Prior to this week, many fans questioned his lack of scoring of the past two seasons. And although the talented and speedy forward only collected 18 goals this past year, he was tied for third in goals scored on a mostly defensive minded team. Johansson will be given a shot of making the Capitals this fall, however it is more likely that he will return to Kamloops where he will look to lead his team in scoring.
Newly signed center Jakub Klepis, whose rights were acquired from the Buffalo Sabres last March in exchange for Mike Grier, also put on quite a display. He provided clever stick work as well as accurate shooting for Team White. The 20-year-old Klepis displayed skills of a seasoned NHL forward at times and proved that he will certainly be fighting for time in a Washington uniform this fall (baring a NHL work stoppage). Klepis scored 4 goals for Slavia Praha of the Czech Extraliga and assisted on 9 others in 44 games last season. He was also sixth on the team in scoring at only 19 years of age (having just turned 20 years old in June). Expect Klepis to play in Portland (Capitals minor league affiliate) or possibly make it to Washington this season.
Also for Team White, 2004 second round selection center Chris Bourque provided swiftness, a few goals and numerous assists. Already a fan favorite, Bourque had no problem sneaking away from defensemen and finding open space on the ice where he could set up. He tallied a few goals, but he remained quite unselfish by setting up other numerous chances for his teammates. His size (listed at 5’7”) seemed to have no effect, however there was no checking involved with this scrimmage and it will be interesting to see how he can hold up in the NCAA this fall. Homage to his father Ray Bourque, Chris is a competitor and will no doubt do what ever it takes to get his chance at making the NHL. Last season Bourque tallied 37 goals and 53 assists in just 31 games for Cushing Academy and will be entering into Boston University as a freshman.