Nathan Forster is a defenseman for the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) and a 1998 Washington Capitals draft pick. He just
completed his fourth season in Seattle, and should be ready to turn pro next season.
I want to thank Nathan for taking the time to answer my questions, and I would especially like to thank Peter Forster for his help
in making this possible.
Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a hockey player?
A: If I wasn’t playing I would be going to school and fishing and golfing everyday.
Q: What do you do during the offseason?
A: During the off-season I hit the gym everyday in the morning and have the rest of the day to fish or golf or just relax.
Q: Do you have any game day superstitions?
A: I don’t have any game day superstitions.
Q: What is the greatest moment of your career so far?
A: My greatest memory so far in my hockey career was being drafted to the Caps and also playing in the WHL finals against
Lethbridge in 1997.
Q: Did you expect to be drafted higher in 1998?
A: I didn’t expect much going into the draft because I didn’t have the best year my draft year. I was just happy to be drafted and
knew that this is only the first step to becoming a pro.
Q: What type of player do you describe yourself as?
Due to the depth throughout the Washington Capitals organization, they will most likely lose a
talented player in the upcoming expansion draft. However, because the Caps have quite a few
Free Agents, the players that Columbus and Minnesota may be interested in will not necessarily
be under contract for next season. In this latest round of expansion, the Capitals have lost a
young player with potential (Andrew Brunette – Nashville ’98) and an unsigned veteran (Mark
Tinordi – Atlanta ’99). Although both players were missed in DC, they were not irreplaceable;
this season is very similar in that the Caps will not be crippled by any selection the Wild and
Blue Jackets make.
Let’s get the eligibility criteria out of the way first, and all first and second year pros
are exempt. That means that twelve players in the Capitals organization do not have to be
protected: Forwards Jeff Halpern, Matt Herr, Mike Peluso and Trent Whitfield, Defensemen
Michael Farrell, J.F. Fortin, Steve Shirreffs, Mike Siklenka, Dean Stork, Scott Swanson and
Alexei Tezikov, and Goaltender Curtis Cruickshank. The Capitals also have thirteen Unrestricted and Minor League Free Agents, and since unsigned players are of little value to the expansion clubs, they will
all probably be left unprotected. They include: Forwards Mike Eagles, Trevor Halverson, Jim
McKenzie, Barrie Moore, Ryan Mulhern, Joe Murphy, Joe Sacco, and Jeff Toms, Defensemen Patrick Read more»
Welcome to the fifth and final edition of my positional reviews of the Washington Capitals
prospects. Today I will give you all the info you need on the goaltenders.
Rastislav Stana – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Stana turned some heads with his performance this season. He had done well last year, but
showed the potential to be a number one goalie down the line in the second half of this year. He
started the season playing for the Moose Jaw Warriors, but was dealt to the number-one ranked
Hitmen at the trading deadline. As good as the numbers he put up in the regular season were, he
absolutely shone in the playoffs. Rastislav must be signed in the off-season or he will re-enter
this year’s draft. The Capitals might take the rarely used route of signing him and returning
him to junior.
GP GAA W-L-T SV% SO
MooseJaw/Calgary (WHL) 30 3.00 17-11-1 .908 1
WHL PLAYOFFS 9 2.40 7-2-0 .911 1
Martin Brochu – Portland Pirates (AHL)
The only things Martin didn’t do this year were: solve world hunger and bring peace to the
Middle East. In one of the most spectacular seasons in recent memory, Brochu won: AHL All-Star
Game MVP, AHL Top Goaltender, AHL MVP and Portland MVP. The only down note of the season was an
injury late in the year that kept him out during the stretch drive and seriously affected his Read more»
In the latest installment of my look into the past, present and future of the Capitals’
prospects, I take on the daunting task of dissecting the defensemen.
Alexei Tezikov – Portland Pirates (AHL)
This was not the season that everyone expected for Alexei after showing so much promise at the
end of last year. He put up good numbers and proved that he can play in the big leagues, but was
blocked at the NHL level by a veteran defense corps. Making things worse was a broken foot that
caused him to miss the playoffs, which could have been a chance to showcase himself. Even though
he is still somewhat inexperienced, he is being counted on to play full time in Washington next
season. The Caps will make room for him as they badly want to establish another young defenseman
GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Portland (AHL) 53 6 9 15 65 12
Washington (NHL) 23 1 1 2 2 -2
Ross Lupaschuk – Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
This has been an eventful season for Ross, as he has moved around a bit. He was invited to try
out for Canada’s National Junior Team, but was a late cut. He started the season playing in
Prince Albert but was traded to Red Deer mid-season in a blockbuster deal, giving him a chance
to be a number one defenseman. He flourished on the Rebels, finishing third in scoring and Read more»
Another day, another group of players to be picked apart. This time we will look at the right
wingers in the Capitals organization as we try to determine what the future holds for the Caps.
Matthew Herr – Portland Pirates (AHL)
Matt spent the entire season in Portland after shuffling back and forth between the NHL and AHL
in his rookie year. He had a good offensive year -scoring 22 goals – but more importantly, he
had the time to work on rounding out his game. He will be given the opportunity to win a job in
training camp next year, and should be able to secure a third or fourth line winger spot. Matt
is an RFA this summer, but because of his limited NHL experience, he won’t get many significant
GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Portland (AHL) 77 22 21 43 51 12
AHL PLAYOFFS 4 1 1 2 4 -4
Roman Tvrdon – Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Roman is quite possibly the biggest surprise of the season among the Capitals’ prospects. He
was a complete unknown on draft day and was assigned to Spokane to start the year. Not only did
he play outstanding two-way hockey, but he won the WHL rookie scoring race. His success is
carrying into the post-season as the Chiefs have made it to the WHL finals. Depending on the
direction the Capitals take in the off-season, Roman could get a chance to compete for a NHL job
in training camp.