The Washington Capitals local pipeline continues to rapidly expand. Earlier today it was announced that Winchester, VA, native Alex Limoges signed a one-year deal with the Capitals, joining Sam Anas and Joe Snively as DMV products in the Capitals’ pipeline.
Lots of Capitals fans may not know about another Virginia native, Ryan Leibold , who was a free-agent invite to this week’s Capitals development camp. An Ashburn, VA, native, Leibold played for the Washington Little Caps and also trained at Medstar Capitals Iceplex growing up. Now he is taking advantage of every opportunity possible while training in a Capitals sweater.
“It means a ton. I grew up a Caps fan and went to games, kind of growing up with the team and watching the cup,” Leibold said. “It’s been pretty awesome to wear the big club sweater and be in their facility and working towards the chance to earn a spot on the team.”
The 24-year-old winger looked up to Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom. A dependable playmaker that also does the little things right.
“I’ve always loved the way he played, always making plays. He wasn’t always getting the credit for it because he’s mostly the passer but nothing flashy. He just did his job,” Leibold said. “Then a little later on became T.J. Oshie. I just love how hard he plays and I kind of play that way myself.”
— Jacob Cheris (@JCheris17) July 2, 2023
The 5-foot-10 forward just finished up his graduate campaign at Merrimack College. It was not the year he had hoped for, however, only racking up 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 37 games.
Before playing for the Mavericks, Leibold played four seasons at Holy Cross, where he tallied 58 points (19 goals, 39 assists) in 119 games with the Crusaders.
In his senior year, he had a career-best 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) and was named to the AHA Third All-Conference.
Prior to going to college, Leibold played for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL in the 2017-18 season, and before that a stint with the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL. In 60 games with the Musketeers, he had a decent rookie campaign with 12 points (seven goals, five assists) and tallied 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 60 games with the Blues.
In his last season with the 18U Little Caps, Leibold led the NAPHL 18U league with 24 goals and was named to the NAPHL First All-Star squad.
Friends of Leibold say that he is a player who is hard to knock off the puck and has a good shot, while also being a beast in the gym, ranking in at 194 pounds.
“I think I’m a 200-foot player and super competitive,” Leibold said. “[You] always know what you’re gonna get from me. Just kind of grind in and out, bringing energy and competitiveness.”
Once Merrimack’s season ended, Leibold signed with the Capitals’ ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays, and suited up for nine games. He scored his first pro goal on Apr. 12 against the Savannah Ghost Pirates and finished the year with four points (one goal, three assists).
LEIBOLD’S FIRST PRO GOAL 🚨 pic.twitter.com/UH5Qwupp1y
— SC Stingrays (@SCStingrays) April 12, 2023
Now he has the chance to get better in development camp and prepare himself for his first full season in the organization.
“I would love the chance to move up in the organization, either now or in the future,” Leibold said. “Whether it be Hershey or [in Washington] whatever the case may be. I’d love to advance to the organization. But in South Carolina, I love the chance to play pro hockey for a living and earn my or my way up the ladder.”
By Jacob Cheris