Caps Prospect Roundup: The Future Is Looking Good

Posted November 2, 2015

Welcome to the first weekly Caps prospect roundup. Each week we’ll recap how some of the team’s babay prospects fared.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad week for the baby Caps. Especially the ones in college. Shane Gersich, the freshman forward at North Dakota drafted in the fifth round, 134th overall in the 2014 draft, came back after a bout with mononucleosis (we know what you did, kid). Then there was Thomas DiPauli, a senior center at Notre Dame drafted in the fourth round, 100th overall in the 2012 draft, who seemed to finally find his scoring touch in the Fighting Irish’s second game against UConn. Not to be underdone, brand new goalie prospects Ilya Samsonov, playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL and drafted in the first round, 22nd overall this past June, recorded his first shutout of the season. As of the time this article was published, the current NCAA standings were not available. But for the week of Oct. 26, there was one Caps prospect on each of the top four ranked teams: Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, Providence and Boston College.

Now to the roundup:

Ilya Samsonov: Goaltender for Metallurg Manitogorsk of the KHL; drafted first round, 22nd overall in 2015

As previously mentioned, Samsonov recorded his first shutout of the season Oct. 26, a 30-save effort that lead to a 3-0 win over Amur Khabarovsk. It was Samsonov’s third win of the season. But unfortunately, the good news ends there. Coming off his shutout, Samsonov gave up five goals in a 6-4 loss Wednesday. That’s five goals on 36 shots. Metallurg, 10-2-4-0-0-11 on the season (or, by North American standards, 16-11), is certainly having some trouble. The team made headlines two weeks ago when it fired former NHL coach Mike Keenan.

Metallurg is back in action Nov. 10 when it visits Lada Togliatti.

Jonas Siegenthaler: Defenseman for the ZSC Lions of the Swiss league; drafted second round, 57th overall in 2015

Siegenthaler is a young defenseman in the adult Swiss league. That alone proves it’s hard to track his progress. Last week, in the lone game played, he recorded one shot in a 5-3 win on Friday. While he only has one assist in 12 games played this season, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound defenseman shows plenty of promise. And at only 18, he’s got plenty of time to grow. Defensemen tend to take longer to fully mature anyway, so the fact that he’s a plus-4 with 13 shots through 12 games isn’t bad. Especially on the league-leading Lions who have him listed as the second defensive pairing. It’ll be interesting to watch this kid develop.

ZSC is back in action Nov. 12 when it visits sixth-ranked Genève-Servette HC.

Zach Sanford: Sophomore left wing at Boston College; drafted second round, 61st overall in 2013

Boston College only played one game this week when it hosted Denver on Friday. But Sanford still managed to get on the scoresheet with an assist and two shots. In an otherwise regular performance, he went 5-for-10 on the faceoff dot, bringing his season average to 0.577. It’s also worth noting that he’s second on the team in scoring, with seven points, and tied for first in goals, with four.

Boston College returns to the ice Tuesday when it hosts Massachusetts.

Thomas DiPauli: Senior center at Notre Dame; drafted fourth round, 100th overall in 2012

Barely existing on the scoresheet in his first five games, Thomas DiPauli exploded this weekend in Notre Dame’s second game at UConn. In the Fighting Irish’s whopping 8-2 win, DiPauli tallied one goal (the game winner) and three assists, earning first star honors for his efforts. He finished the game with a plus-5, but in such a landslide victory, one wouldn’t really expect any less. DiPauli now has seven points on the season, three goals and four assists. In the win, he posted a 0.667 faceoff percentage, winning four of six. That brings his average on the season to a respectable 0.513.

Notre Dame returns home on Friday for back-to-back games against University of Minnesota.

Shane Gersich: Freshman center/left wing at University of North Dakota; drafted fifth round, 134th overall in 2014

As previously mentioned, Shane Gersich returned this weekend after missing a couple games with mono. He recorded a goal in each of North Dakota’s wins at Colorado College this weekend, 5-2 and 2-0 wins, respectively. Gersich got the scoring started Friday and scored the second, insurance goal Saturday. He was awarded the second star of the night. But what’s more impressive is North Dakota in general. This is a team ranked second by USA TODAY/USA Hockey Magazine as of last week, first by U.S. College Hockey Online, and almost entirely made up of freshmen. North Dakota boasts 11 freshmen, including Gersich.

North Dakota returns home Friday for back-to-back games against Wisconsin.

Connor Hobbs: Defenseman for the Regina Pats of the WHL; drafted fifth round, 143rd overall in 2015

It can be hard to track a defenseman’s stats, since the WHL hasn’t jumped on the Corsi bandwagon. There’s even less to report after splitting a weekend series with Moose Jaw. Regina lost Friday, 5-1, but recovered Saturday for a 4-3 overtime win. Hobbs finished a minus-2 Friday and plus-1 Saturday. On the season, he has four goals and three assists, averaging 0.538 points per game. But at 6-foot-2, 191 pounds, there’s certainly some potentially there.

Regina is back in action this weekend with back-to-back games at Swift Current on Friday and at home against Victoria on Saturday.

Steven Spinner: Freshman right wing at University of Nebraska-Omaha; drafted sixth round, 159th overall in 2014

It was a rough weekend for previously-undefeated Omaha. Western Michigan handed the Mavericks their first two losses this season: 4-2 on Friday and 6-1 Saturday. Spinner was almost non-existent on the scoresheet. He only tallied two shots combined over the weekend, and finished Saturday’s game a minus-2. For previously-top-ranked Omaha, this weekend was definitely a disappointment.

The Mavericks will look to redeem themselves this weekend when they host University of Minnesota-Duluth on Friday and Saturday.

Colby Williams: Defenseman for the Regina Pats; drafted sixth round, 173rd overall in 2015

A couple things to note about Williams. First, don’t expect to see him playing anytime soon. He had an off-season injury, shortly after leaving the Caps’ development camp. Apparently he fell through a glass table, damaging his forearm. The Pats are hopeful he’ll return by the second half of the season. At 6-foot, 195 pounds, Williams isn’t a tiny defenseman by any means, and the Pats consider him their best defender. In fact, he was named captain this season. But here’s the catch: He’s 20, turning 21 in January. The Caps must have seen some potential in him to draft him so late in his career, but with the injury, it’ll be hard to determine what he can bring to the table. Last season, in 64 games, he recorded 11 goals and 30 assists. He finished the season a plus-45 and his 95 penalty minutes prove he’s not afraid to throw around the body, but at what cost? It’s also worth noting that in nine playoff games, he notched eight points (three goals and five assists). It’ll be interesting to see, once he gets back to playing, what kind of an offensive threat he can be.

Brian Pinho: Sophomore center at Providence College; drafted sixth round, 174th overall in 2013

First it’s important to note that Pinho and Providence are coming off an NCAA championship. The first in school history. In the Friars’ first game of its series at Colgate, a 7-2 slaughter, Pinho had four points: one goal and three assists. Apparently Colgate doesn’t award stars of the game. If it did, Pinho would definitely get one. In addition to his three points, Pinho recorded a 0.556 faceoff accuracy, winning 10 of 18 attempts. However, something must have been bothering the sophomore center in Providence’s second game against Colgate. Not only was Pinho held off the scoresheet in a 4-3 win, but went an uncharacteristic 2/14 on the faceoff dot. Before Saturday’s game, Pinho was averaging 0.611 accuracy.

Providence is off this weekend, so here’s hoping whatever’s nagging Pinho clears up before the Friars’ next games against Boston University, a home-and-home series starting Nov. 13 at Providence.