The Washington Capitals released their 2023 rookie camp roster on Monday. The roster features plenty of names that Caps fans are familiar with, such as 2023 second-round pick Andrew Cristall, 2022 first-round pick Ivan Miroshnichenko and 2022 third-round selection Alexander Suzdalev. But some of the players attending camp are agent invites, so let’s take a look at some of those faces.
Leivermann is coming off of a five-year stint with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Eden Prairie, Minn., native served as captain during his graduate season and had 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 29 games, which was third on the team and first among defensemen. The soon-to-be 25-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Hershey Bears in late July. The 5-foot-11 rearguard was drafted in the seventh round by the Colorado Avalanche in 2017. Leivermann is an excellent two-way defenseman that blocks lots of shots and can play in any situation. He has an excellent shot and plays a physical game.
Similar to Leivermann, McDonald is also coming off a five-year college career and also served as the captain, but with the UMass-Lowell River Hawks. The 25-year-old set career highs across the board last season, ranking second on the team with 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) and was named to the Hockey East Third All-Star team. Before signing with the South Carolina Stingrays over the offseason, McDonald went to the Detroit Red Wings’ ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye. He had three assists in 10 games.
An Ashburn, Va., native who trained at MedStar Capitals Iceplex growing up, Leibold’s goal is to work up the ladder in the organization and eventually play for the team he grew up watching. The former Washington Little Cap wrapped up his graduate season at Merrimack College, racking up 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 38 games. After his season finished, the 24-year-old forward signed with South Carolina and put up four points (one goal, three assists) in nine games.
Meier spent the last five seasons with the St. Cloud State Huskies, serving as captain for his final three years. The Sartell, Minn., native finished his collegiate career with 171 games played, which is the third-most in program history. The right-handed defensemen put up nine points (three goals, six assists) in 32 games and was the recipient of NCHC Sportsmanship Award for his dedication on and off the ice. Last year, he led the Huskies to an NCHC championship and in his freshman year they won the regular season title. Prior to playing college hockey, he was a Clark Cup champion with the Fargo Force of the USHL. Meier is currently unsigned.
Hall played college hockey, but not in the USA. Instead he played for the University of New Brunswick Reds of the USports league. Last year, the Reds won the USports University Cup Championship and Hall had four points in seven playoff games. The 6-foot-2 defensemen was drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and is now with the Stingrays organization for the upcoming season. The 25-year-old played eight games for South Carolina last year and piled up four points (one goal, three assists). In 2019-20, he was named to the USports All-Rookie squad.
McCormick was teammates with Hall on the Reds for the past two seasons. The 23-year-old was named to the USports Second All-Star team, for the second year in a row, after putting up 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 26 games and also helped lead Brunswick to the USports University Cup Championship. His seven goals ranked first on the team among defensemen. In 2019-20, with the Cape Breton Eagles, the Woodstock, NB, native was awarded the Kevin Lowe Trophy, which is given to the best defensive defenseman in the league. McCormick is currently unsigned.
Rookie camp begins on Saturday, Sept. 16 and will run until Tuesday, Sept. 19. The first day will take place at MedStar Capitals Iceplex and then camp will move to McMullen Hockey Arena at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
By Jacob Cheris