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November Washington Capitals Prospect Update

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Wrapping up the month of November for some of the Caps’ top youngsters

NHL: NOV 23 Canucks at Capitals Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

AHL - Hershey Bears

The Hershey Bears have been a disappointing through their first 22 games with a 8-9-5 record, going 4-6-3 in November. They’re 26th in goals for, have given up the 10th most goals, have the third worst power play (under 10%), and are 22nd in points.

After the finish they had last season you would think they’d continue that play, but they haven’t at all. And it doesn’t make much sense since they didn’t lose too much talent outside of Riley Barber, but Matt Moulson should be replacing his production.

Whatever it is, the Bears should be better than they are. Maybe they’ll do what they did last season and turn it on in January. They do have a lot of new faces so it could equate to the slow start. Hopefully they turn it around soon because the numbers for a lot of these prospects aren’t looking too great. Don’t take these numbers too seriously because if the team isn’t doing well, it’s rare for an individual is doing well.

Alexander Alexeyev LHD
November: 13GP 0G 4A
Season: 22GP 1G 9A

Alexeyev had a decent November all things considering. He dropped from second in rookie defensemen scoring to sixth and his shot rate has dropped a bit, but he’s still top five with 37 shots. Considering his skill he should probably have an extra goal or two, so he could be snake bitten.

Axel Jonsson Fjallby LW
November: 12 GP 1G 1A
Season: 21GP 5G 2A

Fjallby’s goal scoring slowed the month of November. His hot line of where he was paired with Pinho and Malenstyn died out, though some of that had to do with latter called to Washington. He has all of 33 shots this season. Would like to see that number bump up to the point he’s averaging two a game.

Brian Pinho C/W
November: 13GP 2G 1A
Season: 22GP 3G 5A

Pinho had a decent November, at least considered for him, since he had all of 12 points last season. He’s 2/3s the way there in way less games. As stated before, his hot line didn’t last but he’s looking more confident out there.

Beck Malenstyn RW
November: 9GP 1G 4A
Season: 18GP 3G 6A

Malenstyn was one of the better Bears of November racking up five points in nine games. His good play earned him a call with the Capitals where he’s played three games. He has zero points with the Capitals but he had a great chance in his first game on a breakaway, but was stoned by Henrik Lundqvist, which is nothing to feel bad about. He’s currently a healthy scratch with Washington since the return of Garnett Hathaway, but he should be returning to the Bears soon as Carl Hagelin and Nicklas Backstrom get healthy. And that’s a good thing because he’s one of the few things good going for the Bears.

Liam O’Brien LW
November: 10GP 2G 4A
Season: 19GP 5G 4A

It seems the tough guys are having good Novembers for the Bears; first Malenstyn, now O’Brien with his six points in ten games. But with the last game of the month he was ejected for a cross check and it’s too early to tell if there will be any suspensions for his penalty. Hopefully he isn’t out because he’s one of the few producing in Chocolatetown.

Martin Fehervary LHD
November: 13GP 2G 4A
Season: 19GP 3G 6A

Just recently General Manager Brian MacLellan had high praise for Fehervary, saying he should be NHL ready very soon and it’s easy to see why. In his first AHL season he’s doing fairly well with ever facet of the game. He wasn’t drafted to be an offensive defensemen, but he’s been showing it since he was drafted. He’s right behind Alexeyev in rookie defenemen scoring, ranking ninth, though playing two to three less games than everyone else. His shot rate is pretty good still, almost two a game. If he played as many games as other rookie defensemen he’s be top five in shots. Expect him to get a shot in Washington soon.

Garrett Pilon C
November: 12GP 2G 4A
Season: 21GP 2G 7A

Pilon had a pretty good November, but someone with his skill level he should be better than this. Though if the power play wasn’t complete garbage (third worst at less than 10%) he’d put up more points. He has great vision and a ripper of shot that would thrive on a good power play. And though he’s shooting low at 5.6%, he should be shooting way more, as he’s averaging less than two shots a game.

Joe Snively LW
November: 11GP 4G 1A
Season: 20GP 5G 2A

Snively has woken up a bit in November, scoring four goals in 11 games. He has a good shooting percent of 15.2%, which makes sense with someone with his shot, but he only has 33 shots for the season, which is way too low for him. He needs to be firing the puck way more often.

Shane Gersich LW
November: 13GP 2G 3A
Season: 19GP 2G 5A

Gersich played better than he did in October, but still should be putting up better numbers. Like Pilon, he’s probably a bit snake bitten only shooting at 8.3%, but he’s also not firing the puck nearly enough, just 24 shots on the season. We’ve seen what his shot could do while he was in college, it’s arguably his greatest asset besides his speed, he needs to be shooting way more than he is.

Connor Hobbs RHD
November: 9GP 0G 0A
Season: 14GP 1G 0A

Hobbs put up a fat zero for the month of November while also getting injured, which is becoming a concern. Now in his third AHL season, it may be time to look at moving Hobbs to a different position. His offensive game that he showed off in juniors isn’t translating in the defensive game. He did play offense in juniors as well, maybe the Bears should look into moving him to forward.

Lucas Johansen LHD
November: 0GP 0G 0A
Season: 6GP 0G 1A

Johansen didn’t play a game in the month of November due to injury. He’s falling behind in a deep pool of left handed defensemen. He needs to get healthy and start producing.

Brett Leason RW
November: 10GP 0G 1A
Season: 19GP 0G 2A

The development of Leason is going quite poorly. I can count the times on one hand that Leason has played in top six for the Bears. He’s been mainly used on the fourth line (or healthy scratched) with some third line time. Right now he just needs to the opportunity to show off his game. Once he gets going he’ll be fine, but it’s a matter of giving him that time. With the Bears not doing well at all, it’s a head scratcher as to why he hasn’t been given more of a chance; it can’t hurt.

Bobby Nardella LHD
November: 2GP 0G 3A
Season: 3GP 0G 3A

Nardella was having a fantastic November with three points in two games before going down with an injury. It’s a shame because he was playing very well and the Bears could really use his offensive skills. Hope he’s back soon.

Tobias Giesser LHD
November: 5GP 0G 0A
Season: 7GP 0G 0A

As per usual, Geisser remains pointless. Don’t ever expect any offense from him.

Colby Williams RHD
November: 7GP 0G 2A
Season: 14GP 0G 2A

Williams was his usual self in November. Good defensive leader with some offense occasionally.

Vitek Vanecek G
Season: 10GP .885sv%

It should come as no surprise that a team not doing well has their goalies not doing too well. Vanecek actually upped his save percentage a tad from October. Vancek is very underrated, but like all goalies needs help. And it’s not just him, Copley, who is usually an ace at the AHL level has sub .900 save percentage as well.

Riley Sutter C/RW
November: 4GP 0G 1A
Season: 4GP 0G 1A
Kody Clark RW
November: 3GP 0G 1A
Season: 3GP 0G 1A

Going to sum up Sutter and Clark together since they both missed just about the same amount of time due to injury and both have the same amount of points. They are both getting into the groove of the professional game but don’t look too far out of place so far. It can’t be easy to jump right into a season on your feet running when everyone is already going.

ECHL - South Carolina Stingrays

Krisofers Bundulis LHD
November: 10GP 2G 2A
Season: 16GP 2G 2A

Bindulis had a pretty darn good November, on pace for what he did last year in the ECHL. He still has just about an impossible climb through the LHD ranks of the Capitals prospects, but good for him on trying.

Europe

Damien Riat RW (NLA)
November: 2GP 0G 0A
Season: 16GP 2G 4A

Riat played all of two games in November before suffering an injury. But even with the injury, six points in 16 games will put him on pace for 24 points which is around what he hit the last two seasons. Would like to see him bump those numbers up close to 30 point pace by the end of the season.

Hugo Has RHD (Mestis)
November: Mestis 5GP 1G 0A
Season: Mestis 10GP 1G 0A

After playing in three different Finish leagues in October, Hugo has settled into one league: Mestis. And though playing Liiga would be better for his development, Mestis isn’t bad. Hugo had a pointless November so nothing crazy to report. It shouldn’t be concerning has he isn’t a pure offensive defenemen. Hate to use plus minus but with the lack of advanced stats for most leagues it’s all we have. He is a +5 in 10 games, that ties him for fifth on the team with everyone in front of him playing almost 20 games.

Sebastion Walfridsson LHD (Allsvenskan)
November: 11GP 0G 1A
Season: 24GP 2G 3A

Sebastion had all of two points in 22 games last season, so the fact he already has three more points in just about the same amount of games is a good sign. Still, don’t expect offense from this guy. He’s all sandpaper and defense.

Kristian Roykas Marthinsen LW (Division 1)
November: 7GP 3G 0A
Season: 19GP 4G 1A

Kristian is starting to look like his old self: a pure goal scorer. Don’t expect a lot of assists from this kid because he loves to shoot. Three goals in the last six games is much better than his one goal and one assist in his first 12 games. Hopefully this is just him warming up.

CHL - OHL, WHL

Connor McMichael C (OHL)
November: 11GP 11G 17A
Season: 23GP 24G 30A

I mean, what else is there to say about McMichael? He’s absolutely wrecking the OHL and is quickly becoming one of the steals of the draft. He’s currently tied for first place in the OHL with his 54 points in 23 games, but he’s also played FIVE less games than the player he’s tied with. If he played five more games with his point average per game he’d have nearly a 12 point lead.

And again, what’s so impressive about his point totals, besides them being insane, is he’s doing it with such little help. The second player on his team has 25 (!!!) less points than he does. For reference, the player he’s tied with in points, the closest teammates on his team has… the same amount of points, they both have 54. That’s an unbelievable stat for McMichael, showing he doesn’t rely on anyone else to put up points.

Pick224 stats are only updated through the first 21 games, but according to them McMichael leads in the OHL in primary point per game (1.81), total points per game (2.43), and is second in primary points per 60 minutes (4.88). It’s only through November, but it’s hard not to get excited for this kids potential. Expect for him to be announced to the World Junior tournament tomorrow.

Alexei Protas C (WHL)
November: 13GP 9G 14A
Season: 27GP 18G 24A

Not to be too out done by McMichael, Protas has continued to play extremely well in his D+1 season. He’s currently leading the WHL in points (and plus minus if you care about that sort of thing), like even more points than seventh overall pick Dylan Cozens. Cozen has two less points in one less game played.

And like McMichael, Protas is doing a lot on his own. He doesn’t have 25 more points than his next teammate like Connor, but he does has 11 more points, which is still very impressive. Cozens, for instance, has all of four more points than his next teammate.

Pick224 only has the first 25 games updated, but with those stats Protas is leading the league in even strength primary points per game with exactly 1 and he’s second (1.24) in primary points per game (the player that #1 is a D+3). Protas is leaving today to go play for his country Belarus in World Juniors Division 1 Tournament. If he can lead Belarus to gold they will play in the 2021 World Juniors Tournament.

Eric Florchuk C (WHL)
November: 12GP 5G 3A
Season: 23GP 10G 5A

One thing is for sure, Florchuk has his goal scoring stick to start the season. He’s already half way do his career high in goals in 45 less games. But he’s also shooting over 30% so his goal scoring run is probably about to slow down. Florchuk is in his D+2 season and should be putting up better points than he is now, especially since he’s getting top six center minutes. Now, Saskatoon doesn’t have any game changer on their teams since Kirby Dach left, so he probably doesn’t have a lot to work with.

Alex Kannok-Leipert RHD (WHL)
November: 10GP 0G 5A
Season: 26GP 1G 6A

Usually a pure defensive defensemen, Alex had a pretty good November putting up five points in 10 games. He’s been getting his usual top four, mostly top pair minutes and doing well.

NCAA

Benton Maass RHD
November: 9GP 0G 0A
Season: 14GP 1G 1A

After putting up 17 points in 36 games his promising Freshman year, Maass has a total eight points in his last 44 games. It’s disappointing to say the least. He’s been getting top four time too so it’s confusing as to why his offensive game has just stopped the last two seasons.

Mitchell Gibson G
Season: 4GP .955sv%

After a rough season in the USHL last season on a bad team, Gibson is off to a great start in the NCAA. His .955sv% leads the NCAA, though most of those goalies have played 5-10 more games. The reason his games played is so low is 1) Harvard didn’t start their season until November and 2) Gibson was hurt the last game he played on November 22nd. He has been on the bench the last two games but hasn’t played. The fact he’s been on the bench is a good sign, meaning he should return shortly.