HERSHEY, Pa – The Hershey Bears revealed their initial training camp roster, which begins on Monday with on-ice practices. Camp is unfortunately not open to the public, but it gives the Bears a good head start before preseason play begins Friday in Wilkes-Barre. The roster features mostly players signed to contracts by the Bears and those assigned to Hershey via Washington contracts as of Sunday.
Hershey has all players assigned to the team by the Capitals as of Sunday, excluding/including forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, who is still on waivers to be assigned and will be determined today at 2:00 p.m. if he cleared. The Hershey roster features a few notable players on professional tryout agreements, including Ryan Dmowski, Ben Hawerchuk, Chaz Reddekopp, Jake Massie, and Cedrick Andree. In addition, defenseman Bobby Nardella is assigned to Hershey, but as yesterday’s information seemed to indicate, he is still rehabbing an injury and likely will not be playing immediately.
The Bears’ training camp roster features 12 forwards, eight defensemen, and three goaltenders. Although, the team is expecting more players to be returned to Hershey prior to the start of the season and even the preseason. At this early stage, the Bears will be watching depth players contend for roles within the organization. Former Bear Ilya Samsonov was not present for practice on Sunday, leading to some concerns that he may have sustained a lower-body injury in a preseason loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. If he is indeed injured, it leaves an opportunity for Ryan Bednard or Hunter Shepard to take time in Hershey.
Upfront and on the back end, it’s a similar battle for much of Hershey’s roster. There are still a significant amount of cuts to be made among Washington’s forward group, but depth during a 76 game schedule is incredibly important. The Bears will be looking for players like Mason Morelli, Kale Kessy, Riley Sutter, and Kody Clark to be their first options to fill their lineup. On the blue line, there’s plenty of room for players like Macoy Erkamps and Jordan Subban to compete for significant time before the season begins. Among the players on this lineup, five camp invitees are looking to make an impression as well.
Hawerchuk, 23, is the son of the late Dale Hawerchuk and turned pro during the 2019-20 season with the Brampton Beast of the ECHL. Before that, he skated five seasons with the Barrie Colts of the OHL, racking up 50 points during his last season in 2018-19.
Dmowski, 24, has 46 games of AHL experience with the Hartford Wolf Pack over three seasons, tallying five goals and five assists along with 12 games of ECHL experience with the Maine Mariners.
Massie, 24, was drafted 156th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He played 29 games with the Springfield Thunderbirds in 2019-20 and 31 games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits this past season. Reddekopp, 24, was selected 187th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, making him and Massie separated by 31 picks in the same draft. Reddekopp has 75 games of AHL experience to his name, with a goal and ten assists on his record. Andree, 21, has two games of experience with the Belleville Senators this past season and may be getting experience at a professional camp ahead of the season start for the Ottawa 67’s on October 8, where he’s played for three seasons.
Hershey will be expecting more assignments ahead of the season start, depending on Washington’s assignment schedule. The roster reveals include the players who cleared waivers from the Caps’ first roster cuts, including Shane Gersich, Dylan McIlrath, and Lucas Johansen. Hershey has plenty of storylines to watch for as play begins, including goaltending depth and defensive depth. It will be interesting to see if any camp invitees can earn contracts to play with South Carolina.
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