With the Capitals on the outside of a playoff position and postseason hockey far from a guarantee in Washington, it is worth noting that at least one player in the Capitals organization is already enjoying playoff success this spring.
Andre Burakovsky, the Capitals’ first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, leads the Ontario Hockey League with six goals in six postseason games and the Erie Otters forward was recently named the OHL’s Player of the Month for March.
Burakovsky averaged two points per game in March with 24 points in 12 games including a league-high 14 goals and 10 assists while also recording a league-best plus-minus rating of plus-22.
The 19-year-old from Malmo, Sweden, ranked eighth in the OHL regular-season with 41 goals and his 87 points in 57 games were tops among first year players.
Burakovsky and his Erie teammates won their first round playoff series in five games and currently lead the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 1-0 in the best-of-seven second round series.
MADISON BOWEY SIGNS:
The Capitals announced Wednesday that prospect Madison Bowey has signed a three-year entry level deal that will begin with the 2014-15 season.
Bowey, the Capitals second-round pick (53rd overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, captained the Kelowna Rockets to the best record in the Western Hockey League this season (57-11-0-4; 118 points) and finished his third WHL campaign with 21 goals and 60 points in 72 games.
The 6’1”, 195-pound defenseman has added two goals and four points in six playoff games as the Rockets won their first round playoff series 4-games-to-1, and now lead the Seattle Thunderbirds 1-0 in the best-of-seven second round series.
BACK TO SCHOOL FOR RILEY BARBER:
Capitals prospect Riley Barber will return to Miami University for his junior season rather than forego eligibility and move into pro hockey, the school announced Thursday.
Barber, the Capitals sixth-round pick (167th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, had a team-high 19 goals in 38 games for the Redhawks last season and helped lead Miami to the inaugural National Collegiate Hockey Conference Title Game. The Redhawks fell 4-3 to Denver in the best-of-one final, and Miami missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004-05.
In two seasons with Miami, Barber has recorded 34 goals and 83 points in 78 career games and the Pittsburgh, PA. native was Second-Team All-NCHC selection this past season and his four shorthanded goals last year were tops in the nation.
“Knowing how close we were to winning the tournament played the biggest role in my decision,” Barber said in a Miami release. “I want to create a legacy here and win a lot of championships with this team. The main thing that brought me back was winning and knowing we have a team that can win next year.”
HERSHEY IN PLAYOFF POSITION:
With eight games remaining in their regular season, the Hershey Bears have climbed into the 8th seed in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, one point clear of the 9th place Norfolk Admirals.
Prospect Caleb Herbert had his first career AHL goal and his first career AHL assist in his professional debut Wednesday as the Bears beat the Portland Pirates 3-2. The Capitals signed Herbert, 22, to an entry level deal last month following his third season at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Herbert was the Capitals fifth-round selection (142nd overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft.