Photo: Forward Nathan Walker continues to find a role in the Washington Capitals organization after being selected in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft. Walker spent the 2013-14 season with the Capitals organization prior to being drafted. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
It has been an up and down season so far for the Washington Capital‘s AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Through the first 29 games of the 2014-15 season, they find themselves second in the East Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference with 32 points, sporting a 14-11-3-1 record.
Photo: Defenseman Nate Schmidt is one of several mobile defensemen in the Washington Capitals system. Schmidt was signed as a free agent in 2013. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
With opening night having come to pass, the Washington Captials can count two major prospects in the professional level now. Heavily-touted prospects Andre Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov played for the Capitals on opening night of the 2014-15 season against the Montreal Canadiens, with Burakovsky picking up the Capitals first goal of the season.
Photo: Defenseman Nate Schmidt is one of several promising defensive prospects the Washington Capitals have in their system. Schmidt signed with the Capitals in 2013, following his junior season at the University of Minnesota. (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
The Washington Capitals' minor league pool is full of depth defensemen but lacks game-breaking talent. Among the large group, only Nate Schmidt and Connor Carrick look like legitimate top-four defensemen at the NHL level.
Photo: Swedish forward Andre Burakovsky has been very good in his first season of North American hockey, posting 47 points in 31 games with the Erie Otters. (courtesy of Elsa/Getty Images)
The Washington Capitals have stockpiled a top-heavy group of prospects featuring forwards such as Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, and Chandler Stephenson. On the blue line and in net, the cupboard is a bit drier, but there still are some promising young players like Philipp Grubauer and Madison Bowey.
Photo: With 12 goals and 12 assists through 39 games, Tomas Kundratek has been the top producing defenseman for the Hershey Bears this season. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)
The Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, did not get as much help as many AHL teams did with the lockout. The team has struggled at times offensively, but has stayed in contention because of the play of goaltender Braden Holtby. With the NHL lockout over, Holtby was recalled to the big club, paving the way for Philipp Grubauer to lead the Bears in net.