Now that the Capitals’ weeklong development camp is over and players have lugged their equipment bags back to their summer residences, we’re taking a look back at the impressions left by a handful of Caps’ prospects and what lies ahead for each.
Today: Defenseman Patrick Wey
When defenseman Patrick Wey was informed that at 22 he was the oldest Capitals draftee attending their development camp, he joked, “Do I win some kind of award for that?”
A full-time job with the Hershey Bears would be nice, but it won’t be easy.
Wey, taken by the Capitals in the fourth round [115th overall] of the 2009 NHL draft, was attending his fifth development camp, which is believed to be an unofficial record.
Wey has developed nicely since first arriving in D.C. as a raw 18-year-old blue liner. In his four years at BostonCollege he grew into his body and arrived at camp a hearty 6-foot-2, 203 pounds.
Wey won a pair of national titles at BC and was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Defenseman for the 2012-13 season, developing an edge to his game that was lacking earlier in his career.
“That’s the one thing I’ve tried to work on, being a little bit tougher and more physical,” Wey said. “I know that’s something they told me they want to see from me.
“There were plenty of big, strong guys to mess with [in the NCAA]. I definitely need to make that a part of my game.”
Wey’s strong senior season at BC earned him his first pro contract with the Capitals, a two-year, two-way contract that includes a $180,000 signing bonus. Wey will make $67,500 to play in the AHL and $640,000 to play in the NHL.
According to capgeek.com, Wey’s deal includes $520,000 in performance bonuses, which gives him a $900,000 cap hit if he plays for the Caps.
Before Wey can entertain the thought of reaching thos performance bonuses he’ll need to prove he belongs on the Hershey Bears.
“I want to show them I’m ready to make the jump to professional hockey,” Wey said. “It’s going to take a lot of work. I just need to come in with the right mindset.
“My goal is to play at the highest level I possibly can. I’m definitely more comfortable with the speed. I’ve gotten stronger and I’m faster. I’m shooting pucks harder.”
The rosters of the Capitals and Bears are loaded with young defensemen vying for spots. David Kolomatis, Tyson Strachan, Patrick Wellar and Michal Cajkovsky all will compete with Wey for ice time with the Bears.
Two or three of them could begin next season with the Reading Royals.
Wey signed his contract in April but did not play for the Bears because he was sidelined with a thumb injury. He said he’s anxious to make a good first impression on new Bears coach Mike Haviland,
“I’m excited to meet him,” he said. “I heard great things about him. Obviously, he’s got a great track record.”