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Capitals D-man Bowey draws comparisons to Carlson

by Katie Brown

ARLINGTON, Va. -- All the comparisons prospect Madison Bowey has drawn to Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson don't bother him. He gets that a lot.

The 20-year-old defenseman lists Carlson and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings among the NHL players he's trying to emulate.

"Those two D-men are the new mold of defensemen now in the NHL and that's kind of like how I like to play," Bowey said. "Both those guys are tremendous players and guys that I look up to. It's kind of funny; I've always liked watching John Carlson play even when he was younger. It's pretty cool now just being in the same organization as him."

Bowey (6-foot, 195 pounds) is one of Washington's top defenseman prospects. He's more likely to make the jump from the junior level to Hershey in the American Hockey League this season, but he could end up on the short list of recalls to Washington.

"The American League is not an easy league and he's going to have his challenges, no doubt about it," Hershey coach Troy Mann said. "But if we're patient with him and we work with him all year, is he recallable? We'll see."

Washington's second-round pick (No. 53) at the 2013 NHL Draft, Bowey is one of three rookie defensemen Mann could have on what is primed to be Hershey's youngest roster in 10 years. Defensemen Christian Djoos, a 2012 seventh-round pick, and Tyler Lewington, a 2013 seventh-round selection, will be vying for ice time.

Neither player carries the expectations of Bowey, who won a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, as Carlson did for the United States in 2010. Bowey is a right-handed shot and can join the rush, like Carlson.

"He's got a great pedigree," Mann said. "I almost look at him as a John Carlson-type coming in for us. We're not going to push him; we're going to see how far we can take him this year. Is Madison the next John Carlson? We hope so."

Washington has no plans to rush Bowey; Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney said he would rather have a prospect spend too much time in the minors than be thrust into playing NHL minutes too soon.

"You hope eventually he's going to end up being a top-four defenseman for us," Mahoney said. "It's all a process, and we'll see how it works out."

Bowey's season ended when his junior team, the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, lost the Memorial Cup championship game to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. Kelowna qualified for the Memorial Cup by sweeping the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL final.

Bowey captained the Rockets and led defensemen in goals (seven) and points (19) in the WHL final.

"I think overall it was a pretty good season," Bowey said. "Obviously I got a lot accomplished and I was fortunate enough to play on some great teams and over Christmastime with the World Junior team, and also back with my home club Kelowna Rockets. I think it prepared me well for this next step and this year coming up."

His next step? Washington, he hopes.

"Everyone here is trying to make the big club, and I think I just want try to put myself in the best position to do that, and if not, Hershey is a great place to play," Bowey said. "I'm just looking forward to seeing what happens in the fall."

Until then, Bowey said he'll continue his workouts throughout the summer so he's ready when training camp opens in September.

"I know for myself it's just learning and trying to make sure I've prepared myself enough to when I come here in the fall I'm ready to go right out of the gate," he said.

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