Previewing the NAPHL: Madison Capitols
September 8, 2014
Over the course of the next two weeks, the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) is proud to feature a new series that will preview each of the 32 teams in the NAPHL for the 2014-15 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 both their 18U and 16U teams. There will be a review of last season and a look ahead to this season, which will include an interview with each of the team’s head coaches.
Madison Capitols 16U
New to the NAPHL landscape this season is the Madison Capitols. The Capitols bring a rich history of hockey success to the league. They have been an organization for over 36 years in the youth hockey ranks. They have also placed many hockey players in the NCAA division one college ranks as well as the National Hockey League. Some current NHL alumni include 2014 USA Olympic team players Ryan Suter and Phil Kessel as well as former USA Olympian Jack Johnson.
The head coach of the 16U team will be Joe Butcher. Butcher is very pleased that his organization was accepted into the NAPHL. “As an organization we are excited to be joining the NAPHL. It will be great to play a lot of teams that we have not played before. We know we will be playing against strong competition in every game. We also look forward to competing at all the showcases and having the ability to play in front of a captive audience of scouts,” said Butcher.
This season the Capitols are shaping up to be a fairly experienced team and coach Butcher is pleased with his current roster. “We have seven returning players from last year’s team. We will be led by a very strong and experienced group of defenseman. We also have a couple of forwards returning as well that should pace us offensively along with the addition of a few key skilled first year forwards,” said Butcher.
Coach Butcher is expecting his team to be a hard working team night in and night out. Butcher had this to say, “We should be a much improved team from last year. Most of our lineup has past AAA hockey experience. Our goal is to compete every game, white getting better throughout the season.”
Madison Capitols 18U
The Madison Capitols 18U squad will also be joining the ranks of the NAPHL as well this season. The Capitols midget major teams are always successful and will provide another great team to compete in the NAPHL. “The addition of the Madison Capitols further enhances and improves the foundation of the NAPHL for the upcoming 2014-15 season as we prepare for our sixth year,” stated NAPHL Director Denny Scanlon.
The head coach of the 18U team this season will be Garrett Suter. Suter has coached with the Capitols for multiple seasons as well as played professionally himself. His brother is current Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter.
The Capitols are going to be an experienced team this season, as they are returning seven players from their 2013-14 midget major team. Up front they return Tyler Berndt who was third on the team last year in scoring as well as Kasey Firzjerells, Matt Carr, and Eric Bush. On defense they return their leading scorer on the blue line in Austin Redders as well as Trent Eiback and 2014 USHL draft pick of the Madison Capitols Colt Hults. In net they have no goalies returning, but newcomers Tim Grounds and Burton Rehm have promising potential to be quality goaltenders at the 18U level.
Current Madison Capitols President Bob Suter had this to say about joining the NAPHL, “Being in the NAPHL really gives us the best opportunity for advancement for our players and I think it gives the organization a step up in regards to the exposure we will receive on a game-by-game basis.”
The Capitols begin their season this weekend as they take on the Iowa AAA elite at the Capitol Ice Arena in Madison, WI.