For Capitals Prospect David Gucciardi, Learning From Brooks Orpik Was Highlight Of Draft And Capitals Development Camp Week

The Washington Capitals selected Michigan State sophomore defenseman David Gucciardi in the seventh round (213th overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Gucciardi was in the middle of a team workout away from his phone when the selection was made and didn’t find out about the good news until an hour later.

“It was really cool,” Gucciardi told the Statesman. “It’s something I’ve been working for my whole life. To have that goal achieved means a lot to me, and I’m really grateful and just thinking about people that got me there like my parents, my brother, all my family really. They did so much, so it was really special for them too and an exciting moment for everyone.”

The day after the draft Gucciardi traveled to Washington for the Capitals Development Camp. After a week of instruction and workouts at MedStar Capitals Iceplex, Gucciardi topped-off his exceptional week with a goal in the Capitals Development Camp scrimmage at Capital One Arena.

“It kind of makes you want to get there, even more, when they show you kind of what it’s like,” Gucciardi said. “It was great. It was really cool to score that goal too, a little cherry on top, so it was awesome.”

Not a bad seven days for Gucciardi, or for anyone for that matter. But it wasn’t the highlight of the week.

Nothing impressed Gucciardi more than getting to work with Brooks Orpik, who serves as an assistant coach at Boston College and a player development coach for the Capitals. Gucciardi told the Statesman he learned some new defensive traits that he can work on, as well as a new desire to improve his nutrition. No surprise there.

“Learning how to play defense from that, I don’t think there’s too many guys better to learn from,” Gucciardi said. “He had a lot of really good pointers on just stick positioning, lining up your shoulders on one-on-ones, stuff like that, that I really enjoyed and I’m really grateful I got to learn that from him.”

Gucciardi has already returned Michigan State where he has begun preparations for his second season with the Spartans. The 19-year-old will be looking to improve on his fairly impressive freshman campaign, which saw him settle in as a starter, recording five goals and six assists in 36 games played.

“There’s a ton of excitement kind of around our team,” Gucciardi said. “Even around campus, people I would say are a little bit more excited about the hockey program right now.”

By Jon Sorensen

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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5 Responses to For Capitals Prospect David Gucciardi, Learning From Brooks Orpik Was Highlight Of Draft And Capitals Development Camp Week

  1. steven says:

    Di I remember this right: A college player drafted…..the team owns his rights until 30 days after the player leaved college; for a CHL player they have 2 years to sign him; Im not sure what other rules thre are.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That’s essentially correct.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Surprised this kid lasted until the 7th round.

  4. DWGie26 says:

    And he was passed up last year. Almost didn’t get drafted again this year. And given he wasn’t paying attention, he might not have expected to get drafted. Regardless this can be a good professional find even if only at AHL level with spot duty call-up. I would be surprised to see him play 4 years of college before turning pro. This next season will be a big one for him.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I’m very eager to start watching/tracking him. As you noted, he wasn’t sought after in the draft, so there is likely a portion of his game that needs a lot of work. Won’t know what exactly it is until first few games I watch. Regardless, he’s an interesting pickup.

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