Relieved from the pressure of making the Washington Capital’s roster, forward Travis Boyd is just “having fun” this week during his second visit to the Washington Capitals development camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The 17-year-old’s approach has paid off all week, especially during Thursday morning’s scrimmage when he scored two goals in the third period.
“I’m out here just having fun,” Boyd said. “I’m not worried about how I have to perform to make the team or anything. I’m just playing some hockey.”
Boyd was drafted in the sixth round (177th overall) in the 2011 NHL entry draft. Boyd will play for the University of Minnesota, 20 minutes away from his home in Hopkins, Minn., this fall. He’s not sure what role he’ll be asked to play for the Gophers, a team he characterized as young but talented.
“They said numerous different things,” Boyd said about this season’s role. “It doesn’t really matter what they say. It’s all about the first couple weeks just getting out there and proving that I belong and then we’ll go from there.”
After leading Hopkins High School in scoring as a freshman, Boyd spent the next two years playing for the U.S. National Development Team in Ann Arbor, Mich. He recorded 18 points each season. Boyd, who finished with five goals last season, learned from Coach Ron Rolston to play with and without the puck, a skill he has carried over into this week in front of the Capitals’ coaching staff at camp.
“That’s something Ron Rolston teaches us,” Boyd said. “You have to play with the puck, without the puck, so last couple years playing with Rolston was the best two years of my life.”
The Capitals will hold their last scrimmage Saturday, when Boyd has another opportunity to make an impression.
“I’m just getting some really good passes out there and working well with the guys I’m playing with,” Boyd said. “I’m having a really great time out here.”