Hockey fans have to be careful using the world juniors tournament to judge their NHL team's prospects. It's a small sample size, and the competition varies from excellent to nonexistent.
Still, the Capitals have made their living through the draft in recent years, and it must be gratifying to see one of their 2012 selections make a quick impact at the tournament -- especially given where they grabbed him. Riley Barber was Washington's sixth-round pick in June. He is listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds and was good enough to crack Team USA's roster for the tournament.
Barber had a goal and two assists in an 8-0 thrashing of Germany on Thursday in the opening game for Team USA. Germany is the weakest team in Group B, so take it with a grain of salt.
But Barber, 18, is at least building on a fine freshman season at Miami University, where he has eight goals and 14 assists to lead the fifth-ranked RedHawks (11-3-4) with 22 points. That is 12th in the nation and tops among freshmen.
- Brian McNally