On Friday, Washington Capitals right wing Connor Brown spoke to the media during training camp. The newest Capital discussed his first practice with the team and what he can bring to Washington this season.
The team held their first line rushes of training camp this morning, which saw Brown appearing on the first line with captain Alex Ovechkin and center Evgeny Kuznetsov. “It’s early, but it’s easy to fit in with those guys,” Brown said. He’s focused on “getting the systems down” so he can “stop thinking and just go play and relax a little.”
The Capitals acquired Brown from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick on July 13. The 28-year-old admitted “it’s different in a lot of regards” as far as the systems from Ottawa and, of course, the age of the team. Brown said, “Just an older group, a veteran group…system-wise, there a little bit different as well; couple things that I’m adjusting to in the o-zone—everywhere honestly all over the ice, so just kinda getting accustomed to that and make sure it’s second nature.”
“All the guys have been really good and friendly and making sure I feel welcomed, so it’s been a good adjustment,” he added.
Because of Tom Wilson‘s absence (torn ACL, underwent surgery on May 25, expected to return in early December), Brown believes he could potentially fill the right-wing role on the top line with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov, saying, “I think I skate well and I can make some plays and I think that I get some pucks back for them as well too first on the forecheck and things like that, so I think that I could be a big fit, good fit for them and it’s up for me to prove it.”
“It’s always nice to rekindle with an old buddy,” Brown said about center Dylan Strome, who Washington signed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract on July 14th. The two were previous teammates on the Erie Otters (OHL) for the 2013-14 season. “Especially with so many new faces. It’s nice to see one you know and recognize and Stromer’s a good guy.”
Today’s practice did not touch on the power-play units; however, Brown noted he is likely to “fit in with that second unit” in the bumper spot. “Last year, in particular, I played the half-wall in the second unit, but I’ve played the bumper over time in my career. It’s a spot I really enjoy too,” he said regarding his time with the Senators’ special teams.
“Everyone understands what I am. I understand what I am as a player and so for me, it’s just trying to help the team win,” Brown said on his focus this season. “Do whatever I can to try to help the team win and be as productive as possible.”
By Della Young