Photo: Michael Griggs/Miami University
Capitals’ 2012 sixth-round pick and top collegiate prospect Riley Barber has decided to leave Miami University and sign a three-year entry-level contract with Washington beginning in the 2015-16 season.
By inking a pro deal, the 21-year-old Barber has ended speculation that he may snub the Caps to become an unrestricted free agent on August 15, 2016.
Barber is a talented goal scorer. The Hockey News ranked him the fifth best prospect in the Caps’ system.
Barber is a shoot-first right winger. While his size is not particularly intimidating (6’0″, 194 lbs), Barber does have a physical side to his game. He is a solid two-way player who is smart in the defensive zone. He isn’t an outstanding skater, but he does have good straight-line speed.
Barber is a veteran of two World Junior campaigns. He won gold at the 2013 tournament and captained Team USA in 2014.
Barber may be able to compete for a roster spot with the Caps as soon as this summer, but his chances mostly depend on whether Brian MacLellan retains the services of right-handed grinders Eric Fehr, Joel Ward, and Jay Beagle.
This season was supposed to be the year for Miami, but after Barber sustained an injury in the NCHC championship game (the same injury that is likely to keep him from making his pro debut this season) the Red Hawks struggled. On top of that, Miami’s top scorer Blake Coleman got suspended. The Redhawks fell to the future champions, the Providence College Friars in the East regional semifinal as the eventual cinderella champions began their run in front of a home crowd.
This season, much of Miami’s offensive talent have left Enrico Blasi’s club, including all three top point-getters in Barber and seniors Coleman and Austin Czarnik.
From the Caps:
ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have signed forward Riley Barber to a three-year, entry-level contract beginning the 2015-16 season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Barber, 21, was drafted by the Capitals in the sixth round, 167th overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft and spent the last three seasons at Miami University. He registered 40 points (20g, 20a) in 39 games with the RedHawks this season, setting a career high in goals. Barber led the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) in shots (180), ranked tied for third in goals and tied for fourth in the conference in points. In addition, Barber registered seven multi-point games and recorded a point in 30 of 38 contests in 2014-15. The 5’11”, 194-pound forward was named the NCHC Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 10 and tallied two assists in the NCHC Tournament title game against St. Cloud State on March 21. Barber finished the 2014-15 season on a nine-game point streak (2/27-3/21: 7g, 6a) and also recorded a seven-game point streak (11/22-1/3: 5g, 5a) during the season.
Barber earned a career-high 44 points (19g, 25a) in 38 games during his sophomore season at Miami University and finished the season ranked second in the NCHC in points, tied for fourth in goals and fifth in the conference in assists. He was named to the Second-Team All-NCHC, placed on the NCHC Academic All-Conference team and named NCHC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 14, 2013.
During his freshman season at Miami, Barber earned 39 points (15g, 24a) in 40 games. He was honored as the 2012-13 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Rookie of the Year, becoming the only RedHawk to win the award. Barber was also named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team, First-Team All-CCHA , earned the CCHA Rookie of the Month for October and November and was named CCHA Rookie of the Week four times. In 116 games at Miami, Barber earned 123 points (54g, 69a).
Barber was selected to represent the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden, and served as the team’s captain at the tournament. The Pittsburgh native earned six points (4g, 2a) in five games at the World Junior Championship and led the United States in goals. Barber also represented the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2012 IIHF U-18 World Championship and won a gold medal at both tournaments.
Barber is the fifth member of the Capitals’ 2012 NHL Draft class to sign with the team, joining Connor Carrick, Christian Djoos, Chandler Stephenson and Tom Wilson.
Meanwhile, NHL.com clearly knows something we don’t.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.