Joe Noyes Photography
The Washington Capitals selected forward Ryan Hofer with the 181st overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, part of a class of draftees that earned rave reviews from Capitals Assistant General Manager Ross Mahoney. The 20-year old, Winnipeg, Manitoba, native is coming off a 2021-22 season in which he finished sixth on the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips with 58 Points. He recently joined WHL.ca’s Chris Wahl to discuss his selection, experience at Capitals Development Camp, and more.
The 20-year old was passed over in the preceding two NHL Entry Drafts before being selected by the Caps this summer.
“It’s obviously super exciting. I was watching in the living room with my family and to see my name up on the TV with the people who got me there was super special and something I’ll never forget…It’s a goal of mine to be drafted, and thankfully I got that opportunity but it all started years ago when I started to take it seriously and always work and through the years it’s compounded, and to see it pay off is really good but obviously a lot of work in front me.”
Hofer was a participant in Washington’s 2022 Development Camp, spending the week with his fellow prospects and culminating in the scrimmage at Capital One Arena. Among his fellow attendees were Bear Hughes and Henrik Rybinski, who have competed against Hofer in the WHL’s U.S. Division as members of the Spokane Chiefs and Seattle Thunderbirds, respectively.
“Very welcomed. They’re all very professional, they’re all nice. I felt like one of them coming into it right away. The week down in development camp was really awesome, it was informational, I learned a lot and I’m excited to see what’ll happen next. I talked to both of them, they’re obviously really nice guys, they work really hard like myself so it’s kind of cool to see other people like that. They earned that right to be there…it’s cool to kind of pick their brains about that stuff but it’s refreshing to know some people going into it.”
After being passed over in the previous two NHL drafts, Hofer’s 58-point season, in which he finished fourth on the team in Goals (25) in 67 Games Played, propelled him to notoriety among scouts, leading to his selection by the Caps in the sixth-round.
“Definitely a big part of it goes to the coaches for sure, and definitely my teammates. We have a great group of guys there. Everyone is super tight, they’re all trying to help each other, they’re all trying to push each other. And the coaches are just really, not only being a coach, but they’re more someone to talk to in the sense of if you’re struggling or need to work on something, they’re there to talk to you about it, and I think that’s really good in terms of developing and that’s what you need, you need good people around you and that’s what we have.”
Ryan’s brother Joel is a goaltending prospect of the St. Louis Blues, selected in the fourth-round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by St. Louis and going 1-1-0 in two appearances with the Blues this past season.
“That’s a big goal of mine, I really want to [play against his brother]. Him being there already I got to catch up, I do that by seeing how he got there. It’s really refreshing to have someone that close to me being in that position so I get to see what it takes or what it’s like, so definitely to play against or even with him, that’d definitely be very cool.”
Hofer will participate in the Capitals’ Training Camp come the fall.