The Lesser-Known Caps in the System (Two of Two)

Posted August 31, 2011

Two weeks ago, I posted a look at the eleven invitees who were part of Group A at this summer’s Development Camp.  Now attention turns to the victorious Group B, the red jerseys.  Of the 23 men who made up this temporary team, more than half were unaffiliated invitees (15, in fact – a higher percentage than their white-shirted competitors).

Without further ado…

Allen, Conor (#58, D)

Age: 21.  Hometown: Chicago, Illinois.

  • Repeat Offender – USHL Defensive Player of the Week.
  • Competed for the USAH Tier 1 title with Team Illinois in 2008.
  • Takes the college part of student-athlete just as seriously as the hockey.

Boivin, Mike (#59, D)

Age: 20.  Hometown: Delta, British Columbia.

  • Has stats!  Involved in a fight with Garrett Mitchell during the third scrimmage of the week.
  • Has a twitter account.  Also has the good sense to lock it down (the rest of them will get there, eventually).
  • Like Cameron Burt and Adam Mitchell below, plays for a collegiate team named the Tigers.  Unlike the forwards, Boivin does so as a member of the WCHA (Colorado College).

Burt, Cameron (#71, F)

Age: 24.  Hometown: Detroit, Michigan.

  • Oldest player at camp, though only three years into his NCAA career with RIT.
  • In 2010, took the ice to play in the Frozen Four in his home town.
  • Has a tattoo which reads “King of my City” and features an old-English style D (a la Detroit Tigers).

Edmondson, Reid (#88, F)

Age: 23.  Hometown: Richmond, British Columbia.

  • After two years with the Burnaby Express, he tried the college route.  A year later, he opted to sign with the Laredo Bucks (CHL.  No, the other CHL.  Yeah, I didn’t know it existed, either.  My East Coast bias, let me show it to you).
  • This was his second year at Caps D-Camp.
  • During his time in the BCHL, he earned an almost perfect 2:1 ratio of PIM to points.

Elliot, Mitch (#61, F)

Age: 17.  Hometown: Prince George, British Columbia.

  • 17 year old behemoth (6′ 5″), and one of 8 BC boys in attendance at the 2011 camp.
  • Twitter aficionado (@MElliot7), like his teammate Luke Lockheart.
  • While he arrived in Washington on July 10 for camp, his gear did not.

Follmer, Kyle (#75, D)

Age: 23.  Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota.

  • Earned a +16 rating his rookie year with Northern Michigan, playing with fellow invitee Andrew Cherniwchan.
  • One year later, shared the alternate captaincy with Cherniwchan.  Both are expected to retain the resposibility this fall.
  • In high school, was all-state in both hockey and football.  Growing up in Minnesota, he did the sensible thing and chose to go with hockey (hey, this is the state that peer pressured the NHL into giving them another team.  Can’t say that I blame the kid).

Gervais-Chouinard, Jacob (#80, G)

Age: 19.  Hometown: Sherbrooke, Quebec.

  • Only unaffiliated goalie at the camp (because when it comes to draft picks, McPhee likes his goalies young, talented, and in plentiful supply)
  • Prior to his invite to D-Camp, he was traded this summer from the Val-d’Or Foreurs to the Rimouski Océanic.
  • In addition to being the only free-spirit in net at the 2011 D-Camp, at the ripe old age of 19, Jacob was also only four months from being the eldest between the Washington pipes this summer.

Mitchell, Adam (#91, F)

Age: 21.  Hometown: Crofton, Maryland.

  • Lists as a local boy, even though he was born in California and played junior in New England.
  • Likes his big name stars.  Named Ovechkin his favorite player in the NHL, and Brad Pitt as the actor he’d like to represent him in a biopic.
  • Currently plays for RIT, the same school as Jared DeMichiel, who started his pro career last year with the Stingrays and spent time in Hershey while the Caps were playing Goalie Roulette early in 2011.

Montpetit, Brock (#14, F)

Age: 21.  Hometown: Somerset, Wisconsin.

  • Learned to play hockey on an outdoor rink, because his town didn’t have an indoor arena.
  • Grew up within spitting distance of Minnesota (but only in winter, when spit freezes and thus travels farther).
  • Was offered a slot with the USNDP, but turned it down to go to Shattuck St. Mary’s.  Later committed to UW, but subsequently de-committed and going to University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Ross, Garrett (#63, F)

Age: 19.  Hometown: Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

  • For a 6’/170 lb. forward, he’s one tough cookie – engaged Dustin Stevenson (6′ 5″, 220) on July 14 during a scrimmage.
  • His name is misspelled on his page.  This is even more remarkable, given that Garrett was also the most common first name at this year’s D-Camp.
  • Engaged in 24 fights in his first two seasons with the OHL.

Schmit, Aaron (#82, F)

Age: 22.  Hometown: Grafton, Wisconsin.

Stollery, Karl (#97, D)

Age: 23.  Hometown: Camrose, Alberta.

  • Has stats!  Both fought and scored in the third (and final) scrimmage of the Capitals 2011 D-Camp.
  • Named a Hockey-East All-Academic 2 years running (2010, 2011)
  • Skated at the last D-Camp held by the Atlanta Thrashers in summer of 2010.

Syner, TJ (#84, F)

Age: 22.  Hometown: Springfield, Massachusetts.

  • Smallest player at camp by far – “officially” 5′ 9″.  By standard roster inflation, that makes him 5′ 6-7″ in bare feet.
  • Confirmed member of the Massachusetts Mob (well, it sounds better than the other default term for those raised in Mass…)
  • Started his playing career on the roller rink, then later transitioned to ice hockey at the age of 8.

Tabisz, Nick (#98, D)

Age: 24.  Hometown: Kettering, Ohio.

  • Just signed for the 2011-2 season with the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL Affiliate of the Washington Capitals)!
  • Had a storybook senior year, earning a tryout with the Stingrays just days after scoring the GWG in the NCAA Division III title game this past March for St. Norbert College.  He followed it up with a solid showing at the Capitals D-Camp this summer.
  • Like Cameron Burt, played for the Green Bay Gamblers prior to going the college route.

Wietecha, Scott (#47, D)

Age: 23.  Hometown: Wolverine Lake, Michigan.

  • Good with his fists (as he proved repeatedly at D-Camp).  A shocking skill for a hockey player to have, really.
  • Earned the CCHA “Defenseman of the Week” award on Valentine’s Day, 2011 & the USHL Fan’s Choice Defenseman of the Year award while with Cedar Rapids 2006-7.
  • Unexpectedly, his last name is pronounced more or less the way it looks.
D-Camp invitees are often a reflection of the truth that drive, dedication, and talent are no guarantee of an NHL career. Undoubtedly a few of the names we’ve seen on this year’s invitee list will go on to grace an NHL roster or three.  Nick Tabisz’s signing is certainly a hint in that direction (even if comments have been more AHL than NHL regarding his future), and several of the undrafted attendees are still young enough that they could hear their name announced at the 2012 or 13 draft.  Others are student-athletes who have made clear their intent to take advantage of both aspects of the title, earning academic honors and pursuing degrees that give them options should they slip through the cracks of the professional hockey world.