Several Washington Capitals players are hitting the ice and getting to work with training camp just weeks away, from Alex Ovechkin to Hendrix Lapierre. And in the United States, a few Capitals have taken to training together.
Conor Sheary and Trevor van Riemsdyk are both hitting the ice and training with Mike O’Neill at Breakaway Ice Center in Massachusetts. Washington signee and Hershey Bears forward Mike Vecchione is also taking part in the training. The drills they have been working on put emphasis on skating, speed, power, passing and shooting.
O’Neill is a former NHL defenseman who provides hockey instruction to local athletes. Sheary hails from Winchester, Massachusetts, while TVR comes from Middletown, New Jersey.
Here’s a closer look at more of the drills.
Sheary is coming off a standout season with the Capitals, where he dished 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points in 71 games. He provided a lot of versatility and ability, as he was able to fit in anywhere, find chemistry and put up solid numbers. Sheary was also among the more consistent performers and also helped out on the power play and penalty kill.
The 30-year-old is going into a free agency year but has shown that he can be a key part of Washington’s roster going forward while also being capable of top-6 minutes.
Van Riemsdyk, meanwhile, is looking to continue being an X-Factor on the Capitals’ blue line. The 31-year-old defender played on his off side last season and earned a full-time role in the lineup after spending 2020-21 primarily as a healthy scratch. TVR set a new career high in assists (16) and points (17) and was able to move the puck efficiently while getting more involved in the rush.
He had worked primarily with Justin Schultz in 2021-22. However, with Schultz departing, he will switch back to the right side and work with one of the team’s LHD. There is heavy competition there. Erik Gustafsson, Lucas Johansen, Gabriel Carlsson and Matt Irwin are all under contract. Gustafsson is on a one-way deal and will look to win that full-time role in the lineup. However, don’t count out Johansen and others.