Wednesday morning, the Capitals announced the signing of 2013 sixth-round pick Brian Pinho, who recently finished his college career at Providence. Pinho joined the team’s practice at Kettler today and spoke with the media.
When asked why he would sign with the team now rather than wait for free agency in a few months, Pinho admitted it was his ambition to play for Washington.
“It was my dream when I was drafted to play here,” he said. “I still have the draft jersey framed in my room. I look at it every day. It’s a dream of mine to play for the Caps, and I’m glad to be here.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 4, 2018
Pinho stayed at Providence for all four years of his eligibility, a relative rarity for NHL draftees. While some players may have benefited from leaving for the NHL earlier, the forward believes that his college career prepared him to make the jump.
“I think I wanted to go four years just to make sure I was completely ready,” he said. “I played for a great coach in Nate Leaman who is probably one of the best coaches in college. I think he did a great job preparing me, and he’s done a lot of the same thing with guys in the past.”
Pinho, a center, is not the first college player to be signed by the Caps this season right to their roster. Shane Gersich signed an entry-level deal with the Capitals a couple weeks ago. Gersich has made an impact in his two games with the team, looking like he belongs in the NHL.
As the Caps have already locked up the Metropolitan Division, Pinho may also get a chance to show what he has on the NHL level. He believes it is his all-around game and hockey sense that will give him a chance to stick around with Washington.
“I think I have good speed, I’m a smart player, and I think I’ve developed into a good two-way player,” Pinho said. “I’m pretty reliable all 200 feet on the ice.”
Most of all, the 22-year old was excited about getting to be in a playoff atmosphere.
“Guys are just bigger and stronger and faster, obviously, than some of the college guys,” Pinho said. “But yeah, it’s a playoff atmosphere in here, and like I said, the guys have been awesome to me.”
Headline photo: @Capitals
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