Capitals conclude development camp week with scrimmage

Caps conclude development camp week with scrimmage originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON – For the first time in months, and for the last time in months, there was hockey to be played at Capital One Arena.

The Capitals concluded their development camp week with a scrimmage, which Team Red won 5-3. For some, it was a fun return to an NHL arena before training camp commences in September. For others, it was a first look at hockey in a big-time arena.

Development camp – which started on Monday and concluded Friday – capped a busy week for Washington before things slow down over the next six weeks.

“Unreal, lots of fun,” defenseman Vincent Iorio said. “It’s kind of a dream, a fever dream a little bit. You grow up as a kid, myself watching (Alex) Ovechkin and John Carlson and (T.J.) Oshie and all these guys, and then you’re realizing you’re playing on the same rink as them. It’s something very special.”

Iorio, the team’s second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, is one of the select prospects at development camp who will be at training camp in September. He’ll travel home and rest for a few days before beginning his training regiment.

Another player who will be with the team at camp in September is Hendrix Lapierre, who scored a goal for Team Red on Friday.

Lapierre played six games for the Capitals last season before being sent back to his team, Acadie-Bathurst Titan, in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

“It was a great experience,” Lapierre said. “It’s always fun to come here. It brings back good memories every time I come in that building, about my first game and the time I spent with the team at the beginning of the year. It was great to see the fans once again, and I think everyone had a blast.”

There were a few players that got to see the spotlight for the first time, like Peter Laviolette — no, not the coach of the Capitals, but his son.

Laviolette played for Plymouth State at the Division III level last season and had perhaps the highlight of the night when he batted the puck out of the air and into the net.

“It’s been the best week of my life so far,” he said. “This has been a dream come true, just getting to be here. I know my dad’s the coach and I have the same name and everything, but for me to come and be my own person and show my own skill and play a little bit of hockey and show everybody I can play here, it’s just an honor. I’ve loved every second of this week, it’s been one of the best weeks of my life, I just couldn’t be happier right now.”

The scrimmage did not feature Ivan Miroshnichenko, the team’s 20th overall selection from last week’s draft. He is recovering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has only recently begun skating. He was, however, in attendance signing autographs for fans.

The Capitals did have other 2022 draft choices on the ice, including defenseman Ryan Chesley, forwards Jake Karabela, Ryan Hofer, Ludwig Persson, Alexander Suzdalev and defenseman David Gucciardi.

That diversity and meeting new people was what stuck out to Iorio, who formed a quick rapport with Lapierre, as he got to be on the same ice for a week with players from all over the world.

“We all come from different cultures,” Iorio said. “Hank Hanelt, he comes from Germany. Lappy is from Quebec and I’m from Western Canada. Just a mix of all the different guys, we all kind of clicked together.”

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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