Tag Archives: Washington Capitals

Dane Byers(38) Hershey Bears

Dane Byers

Hershey Bears‘ 9th year veteran Dane Byers(38) needs not worry where he’ll play next season as the team captain been invited back to continue his role in Chocolatetown.

Maybe a bit of a less than surprise move, as the 28-year old left wing signed his first minor league deal to join the much-storied AHL team last season.

The solid 6’3″ 203 lbs. forward has appeared in only 14 NHL games, 6 with New York Rangers (drafted 2nd round, 46th overall in 2004) and 8 with Columbus Blue Jackets. He was able to pot one goal.

A proven leader on and off the ice, he plays a gutsy style that never shies away from delivering a crushing hit or fisticuffs if called upon to drop the gloves. He had the most penalty minutes last season, 211 since his rookie campaign in 2006/2007.

No doubt what will be foremost on his mind will be returning the club to a postseason berth, which they missed for the first time in 8 straight years of appearances.

See related: 11/14-10, 12/25-10, 9/8-11, 9/6-12

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Andrew Gordon(10) St. John’s IceCaps

Andrew Gordon

It’s been a few years since 7th year veteran center Andrew Gordon(10) has the hot hand in the playoffs. He did for his back-to-back 2009 & 2010 Calder Cup Championships with Hershey Bears (19 goals, 13 assists in 39 games).

The 28-year old may be back on the scoring track in the 2014 postseason, as he posted a hat trick in the first round series’ clincher and followed in with another marker in game 1 of the semi-finals, giving him 4 tallies and a helper in 7 contests for his current team, St. John’s IceCaps.

The assistant captain signed a one-year, two-way deal with Winnipeg Jets for 2013/2014 and played the entire slate of 76 AHL games without a call-up, his first season without at least one appearance in the show since 2008/2009 with Washington Capitals.

See related: 2/28-12

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David Kolomatis(39) Hershey Bears

David Kolomatis3

5th year defenseman David Kolomatis(39) has put up virtually identical numbers, almost 30 points in each of his AHL pro seasons but in this campaign, under a new one-year two-way deal with Washington Capitals, had a slight uptick in assists and overall points to post career bests.

In only 61 games on a veteran heavy Hershey Bears‘ roster he pocketed 7 goals and 23 assists, giving him his first 30.

Originally a Los Angeles Kings‘ 5th round pick in the 2009 draft *#126 overall), he spent the first four years skating in the minor league system with Manchester Monarchs.

He was a fairly dependable staple on their blue line.

The not incredibly huge 5’11” 195 lbs. d-man has yet to be given his shot at NHL playing time and it’s a wonder if his current team of contract will keep him around as the 25-year old is unrestricted free agent.

If given a shot, he may well be one of these guys that quietly steps it up and fits right in.

See related: 9/8-12

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Andrew Joudrey(24) Springfield Falcons

Andrew Joudrey

Springfield Falcons‘ 7th year center Andrew Joudrey(24) is coming off his most productive, third season with the team.

He recorded new career highs with 20 assists and 32 points; good enough to tie his regular season mark for helpers and second most overall total.

The not exactly huge 5’11” 185 lbs. forward, previously noted for his assistant captain, leadership qualities more than his ability to connect on the score sheet, signed his first non-NHL contract, a one-year deal for 2013/2014.

He’s only ever skated a single game with Columbus Blue Jackets in the show.

He won an NCAA Championship with University Of Wisconsin in 2006 and a pair of back-to-back 2009 and 2010 Calder Cup Titles with Hershey Bears.

The 29-year old scored the overtime, winning goal in the first game of the AHL Eastern Conference Calder Cup Quarterfinals and could very well also be on his way to new postseason personal bests.

Where he will end up next is anyone’s guess, but he could easily signed for another couple seasons to stick where he is.

See related: 9/5-11, 10/4-11

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Patrick McNeill(8) Springfield Falcons

Patrick McNeill

Columbus Blue Jackets‘ 7th year defenseman Patrick McNeill(8) must be liking the first change of scenery in his pro career.

He’s reached a new high in scoring with 11 goals with minor league affiliate Springfield Falcons and second most for points, currently at 36.

Originally a Washington Capitals‘ 4th round pick in the 2005 draft (#118 overall), he spent his first 6 seasons in the team’s prospect system skating for Hershey Bears.

The 6′ 198 lbs. blue liner initially showed strong offensive instincts in four campaigns of OHL juniors with Saginaw Spirit, leading all d-men scoring 77 points in 2005/2006.

He has yet to realize his first NHL contest but has appeared in a whopping 386 AHL games, registering 44 goals and 144 assists with a combined +36 rating and a back-to-back Calder Cup Championships in 2009 and 2010.

The 27-year old is signed to a 1-year, 2-way deal through the end of 2013/2014.

A contract extension may well depend upon how he and the team perform in the upcoming postseason but he’s certainly right on track.

See related: 8/3-11, 6/19-12

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Caleb Herbert(40) Hershey Bears

Caleb Herbert3

Washington Capitals‘ 5th round pick in the 2010 draft (#142 overall) right wing Caleb Herbert(40)  signed a two-year entry level deal, leaving University Of Minnesota-Duluth after leading the team in scoring and penalty minutes in his third season at the school.

His contract kicks in starting in 2014/2015 but no time has been wasted to get his legs wet as they send him to minor league affiliate Hershey Bears on an ato.

In his first game he connected for his first pro goal and assist.

For his encore he got the opening tally and his third contest he received two minutes for holding and no points. There’s goes that average.

In three AHL games the totals rest (for the moment) at 2 goals, 1 assist for 3 points and a +3 rating. All games were also important wins for the team.

The 6′ 194 lbs. 22-year old forward has been in the parent club’s training camps since his selection and will no doubt be fighting for a slot on the NHL roster out of his fifth camp to start his rookie season.

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Tyson Strachan(5) Hershey Bears

Tyson Strachan

Big 6’3″ 225 lbs. 7th year defenseman Tyson Strachan(5) has been signed to an NHL contract and played in big league games since his sophomore campaign.

He is currently under a one-year two-way deal with Washington Capitals and has one assist but has mostly been on reassignment with farm club Hershey Bears, where he serves as an assistant captain.

He’s never been exactly the biggest point production d-man scoring only one goal and 13 helpers in 132 big league contests.

His point totals are better in the minors. This season in 49 AHL games he has a pair of markers with 15 assists, which could easily ascend to a career high by the end of 2013/2014. He also has a remarkable +13 rating.

Through 264 games he’s potted 15 goals and 70 assists.

Originally a Carolina Hurricanes‘ 5th round pick in the 2003 draft (#137 overall). He signed his first entry level deal with St. Louis Blues after attending Ohio State University and played in their organization for 4 years before moving on to Florida Panthers for a couple of seasons.

No doubt the 29-year old is an asset to any team he joins and will likely continue where he is or score another big league contract elsewhere, unless he decides to move his game overseas for more money.

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Nathan Walker(12) Hershey Bears

Nathan Walker

After attending training camp on an invite of the parent club Washington Capitals, where he impressed, Hershey Bears‘ undrafted rookie left wing Nathan Walker(12) becomes the first Australian player to skate in an AHL game

It’s well documented that this is a guy that wants it to be him to debut for his country in the NHL.

At 5’11” 185 lbs. he’s not exactly the biggest power forward out there but he knows how to get into those open spaces for scoring chances and plays a hustle style.

In 35 games he’s potted 5 goals and 6 assists with a -1 rating and almost 2 shots on net per contest.

He’s most definitely had an interesting path to take him to Chocolatetown, first appearing in 4.5 years of junior level hockey in of all places the Czech Republic. He also played two years of pro Czech Extraliga (another first) before joining the USHL junior hockey Youngstown Phantoms for the last third of the regular season.

He was pretty much a point-per-game guy as you’d expect.

The only 20-year old forward also had a couple of super-young visits in the Australian pro AIHL.

By all means, the player originally born in the United Kingdom just might achieve his goal.

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Julien Brouilette(29) Hershey Bears

Julien Brouilette

Washington Capitals‘ defenseman Julien Brouilette(29) waited six pro seasons before scoring his first NHL contract.

He was signed for the last couple years with AHL affiliate Hershey Bears and in camp with the parent club, so was definitely being watched.

The still small-ish 5’11” 196 lbs. blue liner is having a career year for goals, 9 in 37 games and is on his way to a new high for overall points.

On his first recall he notch his first point, an assist and left the game with a +2 rating. In his next appearance he would score his first goal, the game winner, and had another +2 in a second team win.

The 27-year old skated a single game with ECHL affiliate Reading Royals last season and this year is on a short list for recalls to the show.

He started his pro career in the double A league under contracts with Columbia Inferno, Charlotte Checkers twice and Greenville Road Warriors, but ended up skating double the amount of games in 2010/2011 with Lake Erie Monsters. This was just the start of his ascent.

Playing his junior hockey with Chicoutimi Saguenéens he showed an early offensive upside posting over 40 assists in his final pair of campaigns.

This is a ton of hard work in progress, but from early games in the big league seems like a good player to have around.

See related: 10/23-12

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Joel Broda(6) Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Joel Broda

4th year center Joel Broda(6) is playing his first season as an unrestricted free agent after his 3-year entry level contract with Minnesota Wild was not qualified.

He signed a one-year minor league deal with Bakersfield Condors for 2013/2014, returning to the team he skated with on reassignment from Houston Aeros during his rookie season.

He played 124 AHL games through three seasons with the Aeros scoring 21 goals and 17 assists.

The 6′ 203 lbs. forward was an Oklahoma City Barons‘ training camp invite and impressed enough to score a call-up for 8 games near the start of the season, potting a goal and an assist quickly but then cooled off before being returned a month later.

He would get right to it in the ECHL, where he struck for 19 goals and 16 assists in 35 games.

His explosion on the score sheet gained him notice from Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who signed him to a pto and out of the gate he’s fitting right in with team chemistry.

Again, he scored early in his recall netting a pair of tallies and a helper in his first three contests.

Originally a Washington Capitals‘ 5th round pick in the 2008 draft (#144 overall), he had a notable junior hockey career scoring a league leading 53 goals in 2008/2009 and winning the WHL Championship with Calgary Hitmen in the following campaign.

The 24-year plays a speedy skating style, knows how to get himself into the open spaces on the ice for scoring chances and generally unloads a ton of shots on net.

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