As we celebrate the Capitals' 40th anniversary, let's take a moment to...
Where Do the Rookie Campers Come From?
The Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers Rookie game is three days away. Since only one player has played at the NHL level with the Capitals, or NHL at all (Tom Wilson), it begs the question, “Where are all these players coming from?”
The Western Hockey League (WHL) is where some of the players are leaving to play in the NHL. What is the WHL? The WHL is a member of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and has locations in all four Western Canadian provinces and the U.S. states (Oregon and Washington).
Players from the WHL
T.J. Foster (Edmonton Oil Kings), Chandler Stephenson (Regina Pats), Blake Gail (Spokane Chiefs), Jaynen Rissling (Calgary Hitmen)Madison Bowey (Kelowna Rockets), and Tyler Lewington (Medicine Hat Tigers).
The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) is another league where some of the players were playing. The ECHL is the “premier AA hockey league” according to ECHL.com. The Capitals ECHL affiliates are the Reading Royals located in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Players from the ECHL
Domenic Monardo (Gwinnett Gladiators) Rob Linsmayer (Idaho Steelheads) and Brandon Anderson who played for Reading.
The following list of players followed their college career with a step into the NHL.
Zach Harnden (University of Western Ontario), Justin Larson (University of Waterloo), Taylor Stefishen (University of Calgary), Garret Haar (Western Michigan University), and Patrick Wey( Boston College University).
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is where most players develop their game. It is also a member of the CHL and is a haven for players to be drafted.
Players that played in the OHL
Michal Cajkovsky (Ottawa 67’s), Connor Carrick (Plymouth Whalers), and Matt Petgrave (Oshawa Generals)
Nate Schmidt played for the Hersey Bears the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals. Andre Burakovsky played for Malmo Redhawks of the Swe-1 league in Sweden. Louis-Phillip Guindon played for Drummondville Voltigeurs. Nathan Walker played for Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL.
In the end, the training camp players come from Europe, North America and even from Australia (Nathan Walker) for the same goal to make it to the NHL.