photo by Bridget Samuels/bridgetds
I did a little research on invitee Thomas Frazee back in development camp. After his exit meeting in July, Frazee knew he was coming back for rookie camp. Development camp wasn't a walk in the park for any player in attendance - Washington is notorious for having one of the most difficult camps in the league - but Frazee was happy to get an invite back to Washington in September.
The big, high-scoring forward compares himself to San Jose's Joe Thornton. "I like to set up my linemates and try to make everyone around me a little bit better. I think I'm a bigger guy who can skate and make plays," says Frazee. "I always looked up to Joe Thornton when I was little."
But even Joe Thornton was probably intimidated in his first NHL camp, and it was no different for Frazee. "[Development camp] was pretty nerve-wracking," Frazee said Wednesday. "I think as I settled in, it got a lot better."
His quick adaptation to camp could have been a result of having Caps coaches and management directly in the mix with the prospects. "It was really cool to see Bruce [Boudreau] and George [McPhee] right in there with us, talking to us all the time, telling us what we need to do to get better," he said.
Frazee has had to adapt quickly many times in his career. He spent his WHL career with five different teams: Portland, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Regina, and Kamloops. Playing so many different systems may have helped him to pick up the Capitals' systems more quickly.
"When you come to an NHL camp, the tempo is so much faster and the guys are so much better. It's different everywhere you go, but it does help that you've learned a bunch of different systems along the way," Frazee said.
Frazee does admit to being a little starstruck in his first training camp experience, expressing his excitement to go to Philadelphia and play in the rookie game at Wells Fargo Center. "It's gonna be really exciting, especially playing where the Flyers actually do play regular season games."
That excitement extended to the Capitals facility as well. "It's really cool seeing everything here on 24/7 on HBO and being here, it's a really cool experience," he said.
Frazee has been recruited to the University of Calgary Dinos, but if all goes according to plan, he won't be heading there come Fall. "I have every intention on playing pro, wherever that is, wherever they tell me to go," he said. "I'm just kind of being told what to do here and hopefully everything turns out for the best."