Now that the Capitals’ weeklong development camp is over and players have lugged their equipment bags back to their summer residences, we’re taking a look back at the impressions left by a handful of Caps’ prospects and what lies ahead for each.
Today: Defenseman Madison Bowey [pronounced BOW (like the bow of a ship) - EE]
On his right bicep Capitals defensive prospect Madison Bowey has a tattoo dedicated to his grandfather and uncle that reads, “The ones that rise from obstacles are the ones that have the strength to succeed.”
“It’s something that reminds me of them,” Bowey said during last week’s development camp. “I know they’re looking down on me, for sure, and they’re proud of me.”
Bowey, 18, was the second player taken by the Caps at the 2013 NHL entry draft. Ranked No. 32 among North American skaters by Central Scouting, Bowey was taken at 53rd overall.
At the time, Caps director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney said he liked Bowey’s skating ability, strength and the fact he was an alternate captain on Canada’s Under-18 national team.
Capitals general manager George McPhee said many of those traits came through during the team’s prospects camp.
“Bowey is what we were hoping for,” McPhee said. “He was a little nervous the first day or two, but he really settled in and played well.”
Bowey is the second of Pam and Will’s three sons. His father played briefly in the Western Hockey League before turning pro and playing in Germany. Bowey said at the urging of his dad he began skating at the age of 4 and quickly made a name for himself as a solid two-way defender. He moved from his home in Winnipeg to play for the Kelowna Rockets, a team that has produced such NHL defensemen Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers, Scott Hannan and Kyle McLaren.
Bowey is a solid 6-foot-1, 194-pounder whose greatest attribute is his skating. He also plays a hard physical game and is slowly rounding into a reliable contributor in the offensive end, where he has a hard, accurate, right-handed shot.
After recording 21 points and a plus-3 rating in his first season with Kelowna, Bowey put up 30 points and a plus-41 rating in 69 games for the Rockets last season.
Bowey impressed scouts at the Under-18 tournament, where he was an alternate captain on the Canada’s gold medal-winning tram.
He was joined at last month’s NHL draft by his mother, father, brothers, grandmother, cousins, and aunt and uncle, all of whom traveled from Winnipeg.
Bowey said he hoped to be taken in the first round and said it was “nerve-racking” to wait for his name to be called
“Everyone’s hoping to go first round and I didn’t, but it didn’t faze me too much,” he said. “I knew the team that took me was the team that wanted me and I’m blessed to be a Washington Capital and I want to prove I’m a first-round player.”
Bowey will return to Kelowna for at least one more season and hopes his added responsibilities as a No. 1 defenseman will help earn him a spot on the Canadian national team for the 2014 World Junior Championships.
“That’s what I’m working for and training for over the summer,” he said. “I think I’ll be a leader on that [Kelowna] team and it would be nice to be on the world junior team. It’s been my dream since I was eight or nine.”
After his career at Kelowna Bowey will likely need some seasoning in the AHL before reaching his goal of playing for the Capitals in three or four years. As a black player, he says he’s thankful for the path made for him by NHL players like Jarome Iginla and former Capital Anson Carter.
“It’s great to see,” Bowey said. “I definitely look up to those guys, Jarome Iginla in particular. He’s a great man off the ice and a great player on the ice. I’ve always used him as a role model and a guy I look up to. More and more [black players] are being drafted and that’s pretty cool.”