We continue our Capitals prospects series of reports with a review and forecast for Travis Boyd. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Boyd (24) is currently a Restricted Free Agent and was offered a qualifying offer. Expect to see him signed soon.
Boyd was a 6th round pick in 2011 and since then, has shown he should have been picked much earlier than that. After an NCAA career where he increased his point total every year, ending his senior year with 19 goals and 22 assists in 32 games, he continued his tear in the AHL. He was one of the top rookies in his freshman year and has improved upon his point total in his sophomore year with 16 goals and 47 assists in 76 games.
2017-2018 SEASON SUMMARY
Unfortunately, like most Hershey Bears, last season was a rough one for Boyd. He potted 15 goals and 32 assists in 61 games, which isn’t bad, but was still lowest point total in his AHL career.
But don’t look too much into that, because the Bears had one of the youngest defensive cores in the league and it showed.
Boyd also got some time in the NHL this season. He played eight games with one assist, and it was a beauty, a spin-o-rama pass to Alexander Ovechkin for a tip in. He certainly didn’t look out of place.
His strengths are his high hockey IQ, high-end passing ability, and his physical ability to win a lot of board battles. Those strengths looked like they will transfer over well into the NHL.
2017-2018 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Travis Boyd during the 2017-2018 season.
Boyd has continued his dominating ways since he’s entered the AHL. In his first two AHL seasons, he has the eighth-most points among the whole league. So far this season, he has one goal and eight assists in nine games. I can go on and on about Boyd, but one thing is for sure, he needs to be in the NHL soon.
Boyd is Boyd, continuing to play great for the Bears as their first-line center. He sits seventh in scoring in the AHL as a whole with 20 points (three goals 17 assists) in 21 games played, which includes being fourth in primary assists with 10. It would be nice to see that goal total go up, but he is only shooting at 6.12%, which is very low and unlucky. In his career of 152 games, his shooting percentage is a high 16.15%. If he was shooting that percentage this season, he’d have almost eight goals instead of three. But that 16.15% is really high to begin with. Talking about shots, there’s some good news in that department. Through 21 games played, Boyd has 49 shots, which in a full season would net him about 177 shots. Last season, Boyd mustered all of 113 shots, a 64-shot difference. Everyone knows how good of a playmaker Boyd is, but he too often passes when he should shoot. So the high volume of shots is a good sign. Needs to keep it up.
Travis Boyd continues to impress on a number of levels. He was called up to the Capitals on December 3 and played in two games for Washington. Although he didn’t make it on the scoring sheet, Boyd looked fairly comfortable and confident on the ice with the Capitals. He was re-assigned to Hershey on December 7. Boyd scored four goals and two assists in 13 games for the Bears in December, including a pair of goals in a 5-2 win over Binghamton on December 23. He has seven goals and 19 assists in 34 games so far this season. Boyd remains second on the Bears in points this season with 26. Look for Boyd to possibly be the next forward callup to the Capitals.
Boyd played in his 200th professional game on 1/27 (198 with the Bears and two with the Caps). After a fairly hot start to the season, Boyd, like much of the team has cooled off a bit in the middle part of the season. Boyd registered two goals and two assists in 10 games in the month of January, bringing his season totals to nine goals and 22 assists in 44 games (31 points) so far this season. Boyd continues to center the top-line for the Bears, but his linemates have continuously evolved over the month, as Bears head coach Troy Mann is continuing to scramble to try to find some kind of scoring. Boyd, who finished as Hershey’s leading scorer with 63 points (16 goals, 47 assists) in the 2016-2017 season, will have to catch fire to come anywhere close to those totals this season.
Boyd found the back of the net four times in a 6-3 win at Laval on February 16. The feat was extra special for Boyd as he dedicated the performance to his daughter Hayden, who was hospitalized after having surgery for a throat infection. Boyd wore the hospital bracelet he got when he joined Hayden there earlier in the week. The four-goal game started a strong run for Boyd. Including that game, he tallied five goals and three assists in a six-game stretch. He was also a +4 during the stretch, which is a positive when you consider he is a -20 this season. Boyd has started to shoot the puck more. He’s had the habit of being too unselfish and looking to pass when he should shoot. He has a good shot and needs to continue to use it. Overall, Boyd is second on Hershey in points (44), goals (15), assists (29) and power play goals (7). He leads the team with 17 power play assists. Boyd was recalled by the Capitals on February 27th.
The Bears’ second-leading scorer has not spent much time in Hershey in the month of March. Instead, he has been up in the National Hockey League with the Washington Capitals. Boyd did manage to score his first career NHL point during his recall. He assisted on Alex Ovechkin’s goal on March 18 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Ovechkin autographed his stick from the goal and gave it to Boyd as a memento of the goal. The assist was Boyd’s only point in five games in Washington. Still, the fact Boyd saw action in five games in a tight Metropolitan Division race shows how much faith the Capitals have in him. That is a good thing for Boyd’s career moving forward. Since returning to the Bears, he has three assists for the Chocolate and White, including a two-assist game in a 6-3 win over Laval on March 31. Boyd has no goals and three assists in five games since rejoining the Bears. He has 15 goals (3rd behind O’Brien and Barber) and 32 assists (2nd behind Bourque) in 61 games played with the Bears this season. Boyd is averaging .77 points per game and has generated 168 shots for a 8.9 shooting percentage. Boyd is a restricted free agent at the end of this season.
Boyd, along with Riley Barber and Nathan Walker, are in a very interesting situation. All of them are NHL ready, but currently there is only one spot open on the roster for a starting position and that’s only if Jay Beagle doesn’t re-sign. If Beagle re-signs there will be zero room for all of them. One, maybe two can be extras, but not all three.
It will be interesting to see if a move is made to make room for them or a trade to move one of those three to a team that can give them more time on the ice, because none of the three are waiver eligible. Any team can snag them up if they hit the waiver wire and it’s highly unlikely a team doesn’t take a chance on a young player that just came from a Stanley Cup Champion team that won because of its young players.
By Luke Adomanis