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Caps’ prospects finish winless in rookie tournament

With that result, the organization moves on to the start of its training camp on Friday with some early impressions of its prospects. With a 14th forward spot potentially up for grabs in training camp, Zach Sanford, who signed with Washington this summer after two years at Boston College, and Travis Boyd might have given themselves an edge in the competition for that after strong outings this week.

Boyd scored two goals and two assists in three games, playing at both center and wing, and in his first professional tournament, Sanford scored three goals.

“I think in the overall grand scheme of things, I think we’ve seen Sanford and Boyd are certainly two players that we can look to have an impact here with Washington,” Hershey Bears Coach Troy Mann said. “Hopefully, they can parlay this week into something bigger and better here, starting with Friday. … I do like the fact that a guy like Travis Boyd came here with a purpose, and I would think that upper management is leaving here with that belief in him that he wants to take his game to the next level.”

Some disappointment in the tournament results lands on the defense, which allowed 19 goals in three games. Goaltenders Vitek Vanecek, expected to compete to be the No. 2 goalie with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, and Adam Carlson, a college free agent signing who’s slated to spend the season with Washington’s ECHL affiliate, both struggled at times. After Vanecek played the entire game on Sunday, Carlson was expected to have the net for the whole game on Tuesday, but he got pulled halfway through after allowing four goals.

With top Washington goalies Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer still competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, Vanecek and Carlson are expected to have more opportunities to redeem themselves in training camp.

That no one especially shined on the blue line for Washington was surprising considering all of the defensemen who played were Capitals draft picks, including three players who were in the AHL. First-round pick Lucas Johansen didn’t play against Nashville because of an ankle injury that doesn’t appear to be serious.

“We had some guys that were just kind of going through the motions a little bit, and I’ve certainly seen them play better,” Mann said. “You know, I was hoping that Madison Bowey, for example, would’ve had maybe a little better of an impact in the tournament, not that he played poorly or anything, but I was hoping to see maybe something from the back end like we did from Travis Boyd up front.”