Prospects Connor McMichael and Alexander Alexeyev, the Washington Capitals‘ last two first-round picks, took off for Washington on Saturday as NHL training camps are set to open on Friday, July 10, less than two weeks away.
Teams are allowed to have 30 skaters and unlimited goaltenders for training camp, and 28 skaters and unlimited goaltenders for their official postseason roster.
GM Brian MacLellan said last month that McMichael could be a black ace for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is reportedly set to start on Thursday, July 31. The 19-year-old posted 47 goals, 102 points, and a +32 rating in 52 games for the OHL’s London Knights this past season before the rest of their season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. McMichael also participated in the World Junior Championships with Canada. He was selected 25th overall in last year’s draft.
Alexeyev could also be a black ace but that is not for sure yet. The 20-year-old recorded three goals, 21 points, and a +8 rating in 58 games with the AHL’s Hershey Bears this season, his first professionally. Alexeyev was drafted 31st overall in 2018. NoVa Caps confirmed last week that he would be reporting to Washington for training camp.
The Capitals’ facility has been open for small group skates and workouts since June 11.
Captain Alex Ovechkin participated in an informal skate for the first time on Saturday while center Nicklas Backstrom came home earlier this week on a charter with fellow Swedes.
Players who quarantined outside the country are being told to come back this week since they will have to self-quarantine for 14 days before training camp begins.
As previously noted, teams will be allowed 30 skaters and as many goaltenders as they want for training camp, which begins July 10. The training camp roster will need to be trimmed by two, leaving 28 skaters and unlimited goaltenders for the final postseason Roster. This leaves roster space for 10 additional skater callups for training camp.
There are essentially two primary goals for the call-ups.
- Pure development – the extra roster spots will allow teams to call-up top-tier prospects for much needed instruction and workouts.
- Playoff depth – extra roster spots will also be key to fortify their playoff roster.
For more on the Capitals players that will be called up: here.
By Harrison Brown
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