Monday, November 3, 2014

Capitals Sign Former Viper Forward Watkins:

The Erste Bank Hockey League (EBHL) Vienna Capitals
have signed former Vernon Vipers forward Matt Watkins.  The Capitals are an Austrian professional ice hockey club that play in Vienna, Austria.  Watkins will join former Vipers goaltender Matt Zaba (2002-03) who is in his third season with the Capitals.

Watkins spent last season with the American Hockey League (AHL) Hershey Bears.  Watkins signed with the Washington Capitals on July, 8th 2013 never played with the Caps was sent down to Hershey where he played in 73 games with the Bears collecting (10-goals-17-assists-27-points).

The New York Islanders signed Watkins on July, 3rd 2012 to a one-year, two way contract. Watkins would never play with the Islanders starting and finishing the 2012-13 season with the Islanders farm club the American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers playing in 68 games collecting (11-goals-19-assists-30-points). The Islanders would eventually place Watkins on waivers on September 14th 2012. Watkins was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 5th Round 160th overall in 2005 but never played with the Stars, before signing an entry-level contract with the Pheonix Coyotes in 2009 as a free agent. Watkins played just one game with the Coyotes during the 2011-12 season while playing with the Coyotes farm club the AHL Portland Pirates. In 70 games with Portland Watkins collected (11-goals-25-assists-36-points). Watkins played one season in Vernon (2004-05) collecting (36-goals-38-assists-74-points) in 60 regular season games with the Vipers.

Matt Watkins Player Profile:

This is posted on the Capitals website:

Weakly Watkins new Caps centre


Headcoach Tom Pokel and Assistant coach Phil Horsky may be glad about the obligation of Weakly Watkins: The 27-year-old Canadian, equipped with an experience of 326 AHL parts, will strengthen the Caps from now on on the centre position and signed a 1-annual contract with the Viennese.

„ Exactly the type of player which we have searched “ was delighted Tom Pokel immediately after fixation of the last contract details. With Weakly Watkins a quick forward comes to Vienna who was used in his career not only on the centre position but also in the right wing. Watkins still is primarily a center forward, last it was mustered in the AHL with the Hershey Bears even as a first lines-centre. Now the Canadian has decided on the UPC Vienna Capitals as the first career station in Europe. In Aylesbury in Saskatchewan born Watkins should enrich the Viennese forwards with additional tempo and his good technology.

The left shooter has played in his present career with priority in the AHL and developed there to a leadership player. In 2012 Watkins was a captain of his AHL team Bridge port sound of tiger at the age of 25 years. Some years before, with 19, the Canadian of Dallas became stars gedraftet, then graduated, however, from his education in the University of North Dakota. After his Master's certificate he was sent by the stars at first in the ECHL to Las Vegas. Already after fourteen parts Watkins with his achievements had played itself in the display (4 gates, 11 Assists) and was ordered in the farm team of the stars, to San Antonio. With the Texanern the 27-year-old answered for a total of 57 points in 115 plays and liked by his varied application possibilities in Special team situations. After a Draft to Arizona Coyotes (at that time phoenix Coyotes) the 180 cm centre might also sniff NHL air in a play, however, the season spent in the AHL near Portland Pirates. After an other change to New York Islanders the new forward agreed in last summer with Washington Capitals on a one-year-old 2-road contract.

Now at the end of this contract his way leads him to Europe – and the Caps taken care during the past weeks intensely of the engagement of the Canadian. „ He has very distinctive schlittschuhläuferische abilities, has with it a very good technology. Weakly disposes while distributing the disc of a big overview and can lead his line colleagues. He is a player who can do important tasks “ in an offensive formation, Headcoach Tom Pokel analyzes his Neo-Schützling. Pokel had found out in North America also with Watkins' to former AHL coaches: „ A team-useful player who has the success of the team always in the point of view is Matt. He takes over leadership tasks in the cabin and is an in character perfect team member “.

After the obligation of Weakly Watkins only a cadre place is free in the offensive. For the obligation of an other center forward the sporty guidance will let care prevail: „ We have no pressure of time, it can be that we take the last cadre place only after the training start “, according to Pokel.

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