ANNAPOLIS – The Washington Capitals will hold their rookie camp at McMullen Arena on the Naval Academy campus Sunday through Tuesday.

It’s the first time the team has been in the city since the 2018 Stadium Series game played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Previously, the Capitals practiced at McMullen Arena in 2014.

“What a great thing for local families and Caps fans,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, through a spokeswoman. “It’s a treat to be able to bring the kids to free practices here in our own backyard, especially as the team works their way back toward bringing home a second Stanley Cup.”

Heading into the 2023-24 season with a new head coach, Spencer Carbery, the Capitals look to determine which rookies could join the roster ahead of training camp and the start of preseason Sept. 24.

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The average age of Capitals players during the 2022-23 season was 29, making them the fourth-oldest team in the league, according to Elite Prospects, an ice hockey statistical database.

On Monday, Carbery went on a podcast with Mike Vogel, a Capitals senior editor and content strategist, discussing his expectations for younger players and their potential role in the upcoming season.

“It’s critical in the salary cap era having that relief from entry-level players being able to come into your lineup and play, that’s something that we’ll emphasize,” Carbery said. “They know that there’s a level of play that they have to live up to, and we’re gonna help them get there and they’re gonna have plenty of opportunity.”

Due to the pandemic, the NHL salary cap stayed the same from 2020 to 2022, compared to 6% and 2.52% increases in 2018 and 2019, according to CapFriendly, a hockey business website. Salary cap stagnation gives teams less room to work with for roster decisions, making younger players on entry-level contracts crucial for cap flexibility.

Fifteen Caps-affiliated draft picks and prospects will attend the camp, along with six invitees from various levels of play. Among the invited players is Ryan Leibold, an Ashburn, Virginia, native who played for the Washington Little Capitals under-18 team in 2015.

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Notable Capitals draft picks attending include former first-round picks Ivan Miroshnichenko and Hendrix Lapierre, second-round picks Vincent Iorio and Andrew Cristall, and 2022 third-round pick Alexander Suzdalev.

Miroshnichenko, Lapierre and Iorio are among the more experienced prospects. Lapierre appeared in six NHL games during the 2021-22 season, and Iorio played in three games the previous season. Both played in the Hershey Bears’ Calder Cup run last season. The Bears are the Caps’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Miroshnichenko played in the Kontinental Hockey League, the Russian professional league, last season.

The camp begins Saturday at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia, before moving to Annapolis for the remainder of the time. Practices at McMullen Arena will start at 9 a.m. and will be open to the public and free of charge.

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