Previewing the NAPHL: Washington Little Capitals
September 20, 2016
The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) is pleased to announce a series entitled Previewing the NAPHL. Over the course of the next two weeks, the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) will preview each of the organizations in the NAPHL for the 2016-17 season. Each day, leading all the way up to the first event of the season at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN, the league will feature a different organization and take a look at their teams.
Washington Little Capitals
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Member Since: 2015
Teams: 18U, 16U, 15U
Coaching Staff: 18U Lyon Messier, 16U Brad Surdam, Doug Plocki
Director: Dan Jablonic
The Washington Little Capitals return for the 2016-17 NAPHL season ready to challenge again for the top spots in the league. Last year, both the U16 and U18 teams found success in their first year returning to the league, with the U16 team finishing tied-3rd and the U18’s finishing 6th. This year they look for more.
New Head Coach Lyon Messier leads a core group of returning Little Caps into the U18 division, where they expect heavy competition. “It’s a great league- every game is tough.” Said Messier, former Texas Tornado player. Forwards Jack Good, Drew Lorinchak and Andrew Kurapov look to lead the team’s offensive attack, while veterans Cole McDowell and William Gould will sure up the back line, with Alec Coakley in the net. New-comers Mitch Rebholz (F) and CJ Kline (D) look set to impress in their first season in the league.
The U16’s bring an entirely new a squad to the NAPHL, but they are a battle-tested group. The core of this team completed a successful 15-16 campaign in the AYHL U16 American division, and won the National Junior Prospects Hockey League title. Head Coach Brad Surdam is confident his group will challenge in the NAPHL, and is excited by the opportunity to play against the top U16 teams in the country. New Assistant Coach Andy Morales joins the team, lead by returning veterans Robert Purporo, Jason Kleinhans, and Matthew Hanlon up front, along with Kieran Gardner, Anish Deena, and Jacob Lechner on defense. New to the squad this year are defensemen Billy Murray and Gijs De Schepper, who are ready to make am impact on the NAPHL’s big stage.
The Little Caps are excited by the U15 division, and the chance to showcase their 2001 players against some of the best 15-year-olds in the country. Leading the way on offense are returning players Adam Varga, Mac Robertson, and Owen Morgan, along with new addition Reid Leibold, whose older brother Ryan graduated from the NAPHL last season to the Springfield Jr. Blues for the coming year. Returning defensemen Matthew Perryman, Victor Hugo, and Bobby Staring are primed to contribute at both ends of the rink. The squad is anchored by two talented young goalies, Conor Leslie and Andrew Owens.
“We love the competition and exposure opportunities the NAPHL offers our players,” said Hockey Director Dan Jablonic. “Last year was terrific for our Club, and we are very excited to return to competition in NAPHL.”
18U notable players
Drew Lorinchak, 1999, F
Andrew Kurapov, 1999, F
Mitch Rebholz, 1999, F
Jack Good, 1998, F
Samuel Dexter, 1999, F
Cole McDowell, 1999, D
CJ Kline, 1999, D
Alec Coakley, 1999, G
16U notable players
Matthew Hanlon, 2000, F
Jason Kleinhans, 2000, F
Robert Purporo, 2000, F
Kieran Gardner, 2000, D
Gijs De Schepper, 2000, D
Drake Voell, 2000, G
Ryan Leibold - Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL)
Sage Bittinger-Esser - Connecticut Wolfpack (EHL)
Zach Norby - Boston Jr. Rangers (EHL)