Capitals Will Hold “Rookie Camp” In Lieu Of Participating In Prospect Tournament Prior To Capitals Training Camp


A source with the Washington Capitals tells NoVa Caps that the team will hold a “rookie camp” (date/location-TBA) before the Capitals open training camp in September, but will not participate in a rookie tournament in advance of the 2022-23 season.

Prior the pandemic, the Capitals often participated in four-team prospect tournaments as a tuneup before the team’s regular season training camp. The Capitals last participated in a prospect tournament with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators in Nashville, Tennessee back in September of 2019.

The Capitals sustained several injuries at the end of the 2019 tournament. Top defensive prospect Alex Alexeyev was injured by a questionable hit in the last tournament game against the Nashville Predators prospects on September 8, 2019. He would miss the following two weeks before returning to skating on September 21.

The Buffalo Sabres will be hosting a prospect tournament with prospects from the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils from Sept. 15 to 19 at LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo.

The Detroit Red Wings have also announced that they will be holding their own prospect tournament with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues.

It is expected that the Capitals will open their regular training camp some time around the third week of September, so it’s likely the rookie camp will take place the week prior.

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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8 Responses to Capitals Will Hold “Rookie Camp” In Lieu Of Participating In Prospect Tournament Prior To Capitals Training Camp

  1. novafyre says:

    Do you think is is a good move or a bad one? I personally have never felt that the tournament was really that great. These are rookies. I would rather see more intensive training.

    We toss draftees, rookies, prospects around interchangeably. We just had a development camp with some potential Caps in it. Now we have a rookie camp with more potential Caps. Or are they actual Caps? Caps will follow with their training camps, as then will the Bears and then the Rays. Who will go to what?

    Who is invited to each of these camps? I find it very confusing. Are the parameters set by the NHL? Do they define who can participate in each or can the Caps decide completely? Can you explain these a bit more?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I personally feel it’s good move. A hit like the cheap shot on Alex Alexeyev is less likely to happen. You are not alone to be confused by who is invited to prospect camps. It is very dependent on the player’s ability to attend, what they currently have going on with current teams, etc. There are no NHL rules regarding the attendance.

      • novafyre says:

        Thanks.

        But camps cost the Caps time and money (not just the attendees) so I assume that they have different goals per camp. How do they view them? What are their priorities?
        Development camp for those they won’t see in Caps/Bears/Rays this year? Rookie camp for players they will? I recognize what you say about availability, but Caps must have some goals for those camps, some master plan. At least I hope they do. Sometimes I wonder if our AARP Caps do.

        • steven says:

          This would be called a development camp, ie one that players get to learn the Caps systems adn what is expected of them at certain positions, and what will be expected of them wherever they are playing this winter. Look at it similar to the year end exit interview except something at the begining of the year to evaluate summer progress adn give players some instruction and direction and things that the big league club wants them to wotk on at the AHL, ECHL or juniors level this winter. Sort of like what baseball does in spring training with the youngr players.

          • novafyre says:

            Steven, they already had a development camp which I’m sure addressed those issues plus nutrition, skating tips, weight training, hopefully lifestyle and financial advice. Maybe also gave them the opportunity to try out different equipment, find a model they like better. But to me, that would be for what I think are prospects, players which the Caps don’t expect to see again for a year.

            I would think that a rookie camp would include all the above but include more of Caps/Bears/Rays schemes because these would be players that those teams would be seeing more of — they would be the rookies on the Caps, Bears, and Rays teams. Not just prospects, potential players, but actual rookies in Caps/Bears/Rays jerseys. These wouldn’t be the guys going back to the juniors or college.

            As always, exceptions and, as Jon said, subject to availability. But to me that would be the different focus, different goal of these two camps.

            But then we get into actual Caps training camp and I see the same Rays, Bears, Caps players.

            So that’s my confusion — trying to determine the goal and makeup of the early summer development camp, the late summer rookie camp, and then the fall training camp. Maybe I’m just wanting more organization and planning and separation than what there really is.

            • steven says:

              Most teams, if they are good teams, run the same system from top to bottom, that is why you dont see much difference. Rookie camp, training camp, development cmp are all trying to teach the players 1 and only 1 system so they can be successful in Washington. You see the same players because those are the ones that management looks at as having the most potential to make the big league club thus they get the most attention and help along the way. To be honest there really isnt any difference in what is taught system wise at the camps. Yes one may cover more nutrition, financial advice and what to expect when traveling in the cities where the big league club plays but the weight training and skating and system knowledge are the same in all camps. Oh and prospects are potential players.

  2. Diane Doyle says:

    Just as well that the team is doing the rookie camp this year. While a Prospects tournament is great, from a competition point of view, the Caps have had really bad luck with prospects getting injured. Most recently, it was Alexeyev getting injured. One other year (or perhaps it was the same year), Kody Clark and Riley Sutter got injured. No bueno, in the injury department.

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