Thursday's contest marked the end of rookie camp and with only a day before on-ice activities begin for regular training camp on Saturday, which young player(s) are you most curious to see in practice alongside the veterans and perhaps in a few preseason games?
Let's look at some of the contenders (in no particular order):
C Marcus Johansson
The 2009 first-round draft pick continued to stand out during this week of rookie camp. After he tallied a pair of assists in the 4-3 win against the Flyers prospects, Coach Bruce Boudreau called him the most consistent player on the ice and it's impossible to ignore his speed. Johansson told me he felt he could have played better, and it's likely the 19-year-old will get opportunities to prove it moving forward.
How will his skillset stack up when he's opposing Caps and Bears veterans, and can he carry his confidence when playing alongside NHL superstars?
C Cody Eakin
The hard worker wants to prolong his stay in the professional ranks. He didn't have the greatest start against the Flyers, but his response and drive helped him rally for a strong second and third period. He also doesn't shy away from the spotlight. Here's more on Eakin from Hershey Coach Mark French: "I think you expected him to be one of the better players at the [rookie] camp because of the season he had with Swift Current and with us; I don't know if I thought he'd separate himself as much as he's done from some of the other guys. He's an undersized player who has some skill but does a lot through his hard work and passion for the game. You can clearly see that come through in any competitive situation."
As impressive as Eakin has been, is he ready to face and challenge NHLers on a regular basis?
F Stanislav Galiev
Whether on the wing or at center, Galiev's skill shines through. He showed he's not afraid to venture to the front of the net, where he tallied the first goal of yesterday's game, and is willing to work at whatever position the Capitals envision for him. He's ultimately bound for another season with St. John's in the QMJL, but if his first two camps at Kettler are any indication, he has a bright future ahead.
Training camp may primarily serve as a learning experience, but can Galiev make a larger impression?
G Braden Holtby
The personable goaltender's request to participate in rookie camp provided more evidence of his work ethic heading into training camp. In addition to his hope of procuring a job as Hershey's No. 1 netminder, Holtby's development is crucial for the organization's depth at the position.
Can he make the most of the limited time in the scrimmages and preseason given the four goaltenders vying for time in camp?
D Dustin Stevenson
Boudreau said the rangy defenseman had a strong game Thursday and so far Stevenson, 21, hasn't looked out of place in his transition to Capitals camp from the La Ronge Ice Wolves in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, a Tier II junior league. The 6-foot-5 defenseman isn't afraid to use his size and may compete for a spot in Hershey.
How will he fare against bona fide professionals in camp and handle the adjustment from the Tier II junior league to a professional team, whether with Hershey or South Carolina?
Who are the other young players you're anxious to see skating with the veterans?
FROM THE POST
Colleague Barry Svrluga has a terrific profile of General Manager George McPhee and how his scrappy nature has seen him through his career as a player and team architect.
Chris Stevenson talks to a 'grumpy' Brooks Laich and wonders if the Caps have enough players like Laich, who has a chip on his shoulder from last year's ending.
Tim Leone examines the implications of the upcoming season for defenseman Josh Godfrey, who is expected to compete for a spot in Hershey.
Corey Masisak helps you get to know feisty forward prospect Garrett Mitchell.
Elsewhere, former Capitals forward Brendan Morrison will attend the Vancouver Canucks' training camp on a professional tryout.