Last week, a handful of Capitals players started working out on the Kettler ice for unofficial practices, with more arriving this week. Most of the “big-name” players like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Braden Holtby, have already reported to Kettler, but amongst the players are key prospects that are gearing up for the battle for open spots on the roster. One such prospect who could make some noise in this season’s training camp is defenseman Connor Hobbs.
Hobbs will be battling with the likes of Christian Djoos, Madison Bowey, Jonas Siegenthaler and Lucas Johansen for a spot on the Opening Night roster. A lot of Capitals fans are concerned with the blueline this season with the significant departures of Nate Schmidt to the Vegas Golden Knights, Kevin Shattenkirk to the New York Rangers, and Karl Alzner to the Montreal Canadiens. Those are some tough skates to fill, as each of those players brought significant contributions to the franchise or came into the club as an established defenseman.
Hobbs is the second-youngest defensive prospect that has a chance to make the Capitals roster. He was drafted by the Capitals in 2015 in the fifth-round with the 143rd overall pick. After the draft he continued his stint in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Regina Pats.
During the 2015-16 season, Hobbs tallied 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points. He continued his offensive upswing last season posting a career-high 31 goals and 54 assists for 85 points in 67 games played. His 31 goals and 85 points set the record for most goals and points by a defenseman in the WHL.
Most goals by a defenseman… who does that remind you of, Caps fans? Think of Hobbs as the next Mike Green but with more physicality. And do you remember how many goals Green scored to set the Capitals’ franchise record for goals by a defenseman? 31. Don’t be surprised if Hobbs someday breaks that record.
Like Green, I was impressed with Hobbs’ slapshots. He showed what he could do offensively during Development Camp earlier this summer.
Goals by Mason Mitchell and Connor Hobbs pic.twitter.com/ne6I38TXD2
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) June 28, 2017
Hobbs putting up shots against Collin Delia and two nets pic.twitter.com/C4zBIhgWUy
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) June 27, 2017
Connor Hobbs nearly executes the one-timer pic.twitter.com/dt3egBC4l7
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) June 29, 2017
Today, Hobbs was working on the defensive side of things. In particular, he showed great vision on the ice while following the puck.
That franchise record chase will certainly come down the road. For now, we’ll see how Hobbs fares at the upcoming prospect tournament in Florida that runs from September 9-12. Once that wraps up, training camp and the position battles get underway.
Want to learn more about Connor Hobbs? Check these out:
Our ‘Dark Horse’ Pick to Make the Capitals’ Opening Night Roster: Connor Hobbs
Capitals’ Prospect Connor Hobbs Bone-Crusher Hit in WHL Playoffs
Capitals Prospect Connor Hobbs Sets Franchise Scoring Record
By Michael Marzzacco