A year after Sam Anas played the role of local-boy-making-good at Capitals development camp, the Potomac, Maryland, native will again participate in an NHL camp this summer. Only this time, it won't be in his own backyard.
Anas announced on Twitter this week that he has accepted an invitation and will attend Montreal Canadiens development camp from July 6 to 11 in Brossard, Quebec.
"When I first got the invite from Montreal, my first thought was 'Well, what about Caps camp?' because the Caps were the team that I loved growing up and obviously there's a connection there," Anas said in a phone interview this week.
"But when you hear the name Montreal Canadiens, I think just as a hockey fan in general, you smile and you think of the history there and all the Stanley Cups that they've won, they're an Original Six team, so I thought that it'd be pretty cool to try something new and to get to see it up there."
Anas played with the D.C. U-18 Capitals while attending Landon High School in Bethesda and grew up in a household of Caps season ticket holders. He may not have the same personal connection with the Canadiens as he does with the Capitals, but Anas is still looking forward to working with "one of the most prestigious organizations" in sports.
"I think now I have a little bit of a different perspective coming into it," Anas said. "Last summer, I was more or less just excited to be [at Capitals camp]. I was the local kid and that made for a cool experience. This summer, I want to be one of the best players at the camp period and I want to prove that I didn't have a fluke year."
Anas is looking to build off an impressive freshman campaign at Quinnipiac University in which the 5-foot-8, 155-pound forward led the Bobcats with 22 goals and 43 points in 40 games. Anas also led all Division I freshmen in scoring and was named both the ECAC Rookie of the Year and the National Rookie of the Year.
"Honestly, the first game I felt a little lost but right after that, the second game, I felt great and then I never really looked back at all," said Anas, who played primarily on Quinnipiac's No. 1 line and top power play unit with seniors and identical twins Connor and Kellen Jones.
"In the end I had a good year individually, but the whole team year -- we had a good team, but we didn't accomplish our goals of winning our league championship and winning the national championship... So that's probably my biggest regret of the season, not being able to win that national championship. I'm excited to have three more years to do it."
Anas turned 21 last week (he spent two years with the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms before attending Quinnipiac), and is set to complete both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Business and Marketing within the next three years.
"In the end, who knows where I'll end up. Hockey is obviously my passion in life and hopefully I can make a career out of that, but [for now], I'm just excited to be heading up to Montreal this summer and hopefully come back a better player in the fall."