Goaltender Chase Clark Steals The Show: Game Notes From Capitals Development Camp Scrimmage

Well, yet another Washington Capitals development camp scrimmage is in the books. And this one was pretty good, and relatively entertaining, considering it’s prospect hockey in July. If you want a full breakdown of the actual game, you can read more in our game recap here.

As for performances in the game, there were several players that stood out. Here’s my three stars and standouts for the game:

Stars Of The Game

Chase Clark – Clark stood out the most among all netminders and skaters, and gets my first star of the game. He made countless stops, many of the high-caliber nature. It’s hard not to get excited about Clark. 6’-5” and a very raw talent. Clark was perfect in the shootout and demonstrated solid play form throughout the game.

In an era of big goalies, Clark will provide just that, and is currently the tallest netminder in the Capitals organization. According to the Buffalo News, Clark grew two inches in the summer of 2020 alone, so he may not be done growing.

It was good that Clark got to spend a few days with Capitals goaltending coaches. Oli Kolzig spoke well of Clark on the game stream, and also noted he was impressive and is a very raw talent.

Clark committed to playing for Quinnipiac early in the 2021-22 season, which will provide a solid next step in his development. Unfortunately for Clark, Quinnipiac’s number one goaltender, Yaniv Perets (undrafted), has committed to return to Quinnipiac next season, which will no doubt impact Clark’s playing time. Perets posted a 1.17 goals against average this season, which broke the NCAA record of NHL All-Star Jimmy Howard (1.19), who set the record with Maine in 2004. Still, that’s a very good role model for Clark next season.

Hendrix Lapierre – Lapierre was solid once again, recording a goal and an assist, and would have been the first star had Chase Clark not been in the house. In fact, Lapierre and Peter Laviolette Junior were the only two players to record two points in the game. Lapierre’s skating, to no surprise, stood out among most of the others in the game. He also made a heady outlet pass for the gsme’s first goal.

Lapierre demonstrated good net front presence on his goal in the game. He would collect a loose puck, show patience in waiting for the goaltender to clear, and then tucking it home for the tally.

Lapierre played in a total of 54 games this season, still on the low side, but much better than the 2020-21 season (30 games) and 2019-20 season (24 games). He was sidelined with two different lower-body injuries that kept him from competing in the full 68-game regular season schedule. Unfortunately there is likely no room for him in D.C. this fall. He’ll need to improve his durability with the Hershey Bears this season.

Ryan Siedem – Who? Siedem is a 6’-3” defenseman that was a free agent invite to camp and just completed his first year at Harvard. He had a nice goal last night. A really nice goal for a 6’-3” defenseman.

Siedem has solid basic skills but his skating stood out to me, before he recorded his goal. He gets my third star of the game.

Other Notables

Peter Laviolette – I will admit when I saw Laviolette on the Development camp roster, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. He definitely showed he belonged, which could make things interesting.

Alexander Suzdalev – A third round pick in this years draft, Suzdalev looked very comfortable in the game and showed solid defensive skills. I’m excited to track this prospect next season.

Grant Cruikshank – Another free agent invite, Cruikshank looked solid in the game, and has excellent skating speed. Also scored a,goal.

Caveats And Context

You never know what you’re gonna get with these games, as player conditioning and game readiness is all over the map and varies with each player. Comparing one to the other at any point this week would be foolish. You have players like Martin Has, who finished his season and long postseason run just two weeks ago, and then you a lot of other players that have been off for months.

Shavings

  • A nugget from from former Capital Karl Alzner, via skating coach Wendy Marco. Free agent invite Grant Cruikshank is the son of none other than Olympic speed skating champion Bonnie Blair.
  • I thought the game format was excellent. It was 5-on-5 for the first and second periods with 2o-minute periods and a running clock (no time stoppages). The third period was also 20 minutes, but the first half was 4-on-4 and the final 10 minutes 3-on-3. The game included a shoot after regulation.
  • The Capitals invited a great number of college players to this camp, more than in recent years. This seems to be a change in philosophy and I personally think it’s a good move. Also, college scout Danny Brooks has been excellent at finding undrafted talent in the NCAA.

You can watch a replay of the scrimmage anytime right here.

Jon Sorensen

Related Reading:
Who Are These Guys? A Deeper Dive On The Free Agent Invites To Capitals 2022 Development Camp
Images From Washington Capitals 2022 Development Camp Scrimmage At Capital One Arena
Team Red Tops Team White 5-3 in Capitals Prospect Scrimmage At Capital One Arena, Hendrix Lapierre, Peter Laviolette Each Record Two Points

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to Goaltender Chase Clark Steals The Show: Game Notes From Capitals Development Camp Scrimmage

  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought Clark was excellent, but a decent showing by all netminders. Bjorlund game up an early softy or two, but also settled in. Stevenson will give Fucale and Shepard a run for their money in Hershey this season.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Draft a G every year.

  3. Lewis6kids says:

    It seems like forever that we’ve been drafting and developing our own goalies. Very fortunate for us. That’s why the demise of Samy and VV was such a shock/disappointment. This year we’ll be playing with other team’s goalies – I’m hoping for the best. It would be a great continuation of the tradition if this Clark guy starts a new run of Caps homegrown netminders.

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