Son of Iafrate admits he's out there, too

Son of Iafrate admits he's out there, too
July 12, 2012, 1:50 am
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During his playing days, former Capitals defenseman Al Iafrate was a loose cannon on and off the ice.

He made opposing goaltenders quiver in their skates with a slap shot once clocked at 105.2 mph, and he was a heavy metal head banger in the locker room, rocking to the sounds of Metallica.

So whats it like having Al Iafrate, once nicknamed the Planet, as your dad?

Hes out there in normal life, too, said Max Iafrate, a hard-hitting,18-year-old defenseman who was invited to attend this weeks Capitals development camp.

Watching how he played and how he acted is how he is off the ice.

And is Max a chip off the old mans block?

Obviously, hes not as big as his dad, said former Capitals goaltender Olie Kolzig, referring to Al Iafrates 6-foot-3, 240-pound frame. I dont know if anybody will ever possess a shot like Big Al. I havent gotten to know Max off the ice, but from what I hear, hes a character, like his dad.

I like to have fun, too, Max said. I dont like to be boring. Whats the point of being boring in life? Id rather be exciting.

If taking out a pair of teammates with menacing hip checks counts as exciting, Max Iafrate is making a name for himself this week at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where rookie workouts continue through Saturday.

Max Iafrate, a sturdy 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman, was invited to the camp after he went undrafted in last months NHL entry draft. The oversight was a bit of a surprise considering Iafrate was ranked 70th among North American skaters by the Central Scouting Bureau and fared well at the NHL combine in early June.

People may think they gave me an offer to attend development camp because my dad played here, but I was pretty highly rated by Central Scouting. Im a pretty good player, I think.

Maybe being a free agent is better than being a seventh round pick because there are more opportunities. Being a free agent, if you have one great year you could have a bunch of teams offering you contracts.

Thats Iafrates game plan heading into the 202-13 season. In 62 games for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League last season Iafrate registered six goals, 10 assists and 97 penalty minutes.

He said he expects those numbers to improve next season, especially if his defense partner, Ryan Murphy, turns pro. Murphy was taken 12th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the June 22 NHL draft.

Iafrate was born in Baltimore on March 28, 1994, one week before his father was traded from the Capitals to the Bruins for Joe Juneau. Al Iafrate played just 71 more games after that trade and was forced to retire prematurely because of knee injuries.

Max Iafrate spent a short time in Boston before the family moved to San Jose and then to Levonia, Mich., where he honed his hockey skills. Max has seen YouTube clips of his fathers playing days and says his dad was instrumental in helping him develop a hard shot, a love of hitting and a tireless work ethic. He is hoping he leaves a strong enough impression on the Capitals that they want him back next summer.

I just do the best I can, take all the advice he gives me and go from there, Max Iafrate said.

And that advice apparently includes his choice of music.

My dad says there are no good rock and roll bands anymore, Max Iafrate said. When I was little he played me a lot of rap.