Saturday, defenseman Madison Bowey will make his NHL debut against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Capitals called him up after Matt Niskanen suffered an upper-body injury during Friday’s game against the Devils. Niskanen has been placed on LTIR, which could give Bowey 10 games to prove that he belongs in the NHL.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 14, 2017
Bowey spent the last two years playing for the AHL’s Hershey Bears after being drafted by the Capitals in the second round of the 2013 draft. The defenseman was sent back down to Hershey in the last round of training camp cuts during the preseason.
The 22-year old Canadian will likely play alongside Christian Djoos tonight. The two were on the same pairing in Hershey last season prior to a tendon in Bowey’s ankle being slashed by a skate blade in late December. The injury kept Bowey out for over two months and likely delayed his NHL debut, as Trotz had been considering calling him up to the big leagues. If Djoos and Bowey do play together tonight, their pairing will have a combined two games of NHL experience.
Bowey spoke to the media prior to boarding the team bus to Philadelphia today. The joyous smile on his face was more than enough to show his excitement about the opportunity to play in the NHL.
“It’s a dream that I’ve had since I was five-years-old,” Bowey said. Additionally, he said “It’s been definitely a dream come true so far, it’s been a whirlwind I think it’s just gonna get better from here for sure.”
He also spoke about how he found out that he would officially be on the Capitals roster.
After receiving the call around 10:30 PM last night, he immediately called his parents to tell them the great news. Despite the fact that his dad, Will, lives over 2,700 miles away in Kelowna, British Columbia, the excited family quickly teamed up late in the night to secure the proud father a flight to see his son’s NHL debut.
If all goes well, Will Bowey should make it to Wells Fargo Center by puck drop at 7:18 PM.
Bowey’s roommate and Hershey Bears teammate Riley Barber wished him congratulations on Twitter.
— Riley Barber (@rileybarber94) October 14, 2017
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 14, 2017
Madison Bowey: “I got the call. It’s been definitely a dream come true so far, it’s been a whirlwind I think it’s just gonna get better from here for sure.”
Do you know if you’re in tonight?
Madison Bowey: “Yeah, I am. That’ll be good. It’s exciting. I’m a little anxious to get it going, but it’ll be good.”
How do you calm your nerves in the first few shifts?
Madison Bowey: “I think for me it’s just keeping it simple. I’m lucky to have a great team behind me and supporting me, so just going from there I think. It’s just doing the little things right and being good with my details, and hopefully I can get comfortable after the first period and not look back from there.”
Do you remind yourself that it’s just another hockey game?
Madison Bowey: “Exactly. It still is hockey. It’s a dream that I’ve had since I was five years old, so I think I’m just going to enjoy it and have fun with it and just do the best that I can. It’s gonna be a great experience for me and my family and we’re definitely looking forward to it.”
What was your family’s reaction when you told them?
Madison Bowey: “They were really excited. I gave both my mom and dad Facetime calls right after, and they were both actually watching my little brother’s game, so they kind of had to pause that and kind of take the news in. They’re really excited. I know my dad’s going to make it out here tonight for the game and I think it should be a great experience to share with him after for sure.”
Where is he coming from?
Madison Bowey: “Kelowna, British Columbia.”
How did he book that so quickly?
Madison Bowey: “He just got on it. Luckily my sister-in-law works with WestJet (Airlines) so she helped him out a little bit and got him on the first flight out to here.”
When did you find out?
Madison Bowey: “I found out around 10:30PM, so I gave him the Facetime call at 11. He got on the phone, probably woke up my older brother and his wife, to see what they could do, and I think that they helped him out tremendously. They got him on a flight today to Philadelphia, so he’s definitely excited for that and it should be a great experience.”
Do you know what time he’s getting in?
Madison Bowey: “I think he arrives here right at 7. So he’s gonna drive from the airport right from the game. So yeah, it’s going to be tight, but he’s definitely not going to miss it.”
Fortunately it’s opening night too, so he’s got some extra time.
Madison Bowey: [Laughs] “Yeah, it should be good for sure.”
You were the last cut at training camp. What did they tell you when they sent you down to encourage you about how well you did during the preseason?
Madison Bowey: “I think just for me was going down there and working on my game and refining things to make sure that when I did get the opportunity, which was pretty short notice… it’s nice to have that. I think that when I got the opportunity to come up here and be the best that I can. When I was down there (in Hershey) I got to play a game last weekend, and I thought it was a really great game for myself, and a few great practices too so far. It’s just going down there with a positive attitude and knowing that I was close to making an NHL team. And now I’m here, and I think it’s going to be a great experience for me.”
How far is it from Hershey? About two hours?
Madison Bowey: “Yeah, it’s about two hours. On the dot.”
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