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Capitals Dev. Camp: Rigorous Skating, Lapierre’s Return & More From Day 1

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Capitals prospect Hendrix Lapierre

ARLINGTON, V.A. — Skating coach Wendy Marco at center ice, as the Washington Capitals’ 30 skating prospects listened carefully while staring down over 40 cones in front of them scattered across the rink.

She started a rigorous day off with edge work, where players could only use one foot to get around cones.

“Crystal clear?” she asked, encouraging them to try and the drill and stay confident.

The opening day of the Capitals development camp didn’t involve any pucks, nets or goalies, who came out for their session before the rest of the players. Instead, it started with edge work, followed by jumping hurdles, followed by a free-for-all and “last man standing game,” followed by a speed test where strides must match the ticks of a metronome.

It was humbling for many, as top prospects found themselves losing edges, spilling out or out of breath. Still, it was a good way to kick off a busy week and evaluate where players are.

“It’s really fun. They’re really challenging us out there… it was very frustrating on the ice for a couple of drills, you know, I thought I couldn’t skate anymore,” Hendrix Lapierre said. “So really excited for tomorrow to touch pucks and stuff like that. It’ll be really fun.”

READ MORE ON WHN: Why Didn’t The Capitals Qualify Ilya Samsonov?

Lapierre was able to stay on his feet quite a bit and also won the last man standing contest and shined in the metronome test. He also wore a wide smile while returning to Medstar Capitals Iceplex for the first time since being re-assigned to the QMJHL in November.

“I think as hockey players, you got to push yourself every day. I mean, if you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you won’t get better, right? So today was really about that and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who struggled, so a lot of guys will say the same thing,” Lapierre said. “We got better today. We got better towards the end and then tomorrow obviously is another day and we got to make it count.”

“It was really challenging,” Dru Krebs added. “Edgework is something that I really wanted to work on throughout the summer and keep on working. There’s some very, very challenging stuff that I fell on. And I think you take away those things that you need to really work on and especially myself. That was really fun.”

Peter Laviolette also got to watch his son, Peter Laviolette III, in action. 2022 picks Ryan Chesley, Alexander Suzdalev, Ludwig Persson, Jake Karabela, Ryan Hofer and David Gucciardi were also in attendance. Ivan Miroshnichenko will also participate in off-ice activities, but will not skate. Doctors cleared him to return to training back in June after going into remission following treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

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