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Washington Capitals Prospects December Update

Prince Albert Raiders v Seattle Thunderbirds Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

AHL - Hershey Bears

After I blasted the Bears for not playing to their potential through the first two months, they went on a complete tear winning every single game in December except one, which included a nine game win streak. And that one loss was 1-2, so they were still in it.

They are now 18-10-5 on the year after their great December. They went from 26th in goals for to 21st, still not great but going in the right direction. Defensively through the first two months they gave up the 10th most goals, they are no ranked as giving up the 10th least amount of goals, a major boost due to goaltending. Their power play didn’t improve all that much, they were the worst in the first two months and are now just 26th, but still, it’s an improvement. They also moved from 22nd in points to 10th.

It looks like they are finally playing like everyone expected them to. Now it’s time to find out if they are for real or just on a lucky streak.

Alexander Alexeyev LHD
December: 10GP 0G 3A
Season: 32GP 1G 12A

Alexeyev followed up a decent November with a decent December. He dropped from sixth to ninth in rookie defensemen scoring and his shot rate has dropped a bit as well, going from top five in shots to seventh. He’s probably a bit snake bitten when it comes to goals. He literally scored on his first shot of the season and has had 50 straight shots since with no goals. Overall, he’s trending down a little and needs to step up his game a bit.

Axel Jonsson Fjallby LW
December: 11 GP 2G 3A
Season: 32GP 7G 5A

After taking November off, Fjallby had a very good December for himself. He’s still scoring goals without shooting much, just 47 shots on the season, but 15% shooting is probably the average in the AHL. Either way, he should probably be shooting the puck just a bit more, even if he’s playing bottom six.

Brian Pinho C/W
November: 11GP 3G 4A
Season: 33GP 6G 9A

Pinho had all of 12 points last season in 73 games, he hit that mark in his 28th game this season, now up to 15 points in 33 games. His December helped those numbers. The confidence in him is certainly growing as he seemed to cement that third line center spot for himself.

Beck Malenstyn RW
December: 3GP 1G 0A
Season: 21GP 4G 3A

Between being suspended and hurt, Malenstyn only played three games in December. It’s unknown when he will be back but shouldn’t be too much longer.

Liam O’Brien LW
December: 11GP 1G 4A
Season: 30GP 6G 8A

O’Brien has now had two straight good months, as he should since he’s a top six staple now. It’s arguable as to whether he should be playing over some of the other young players, but he is producing so that’s a good sign.

Martin Fehervary LHD
December: 11GP 0G 2A
Season: 30GP 3G 8A

Like Alexeyev, Fehervary is maybe trending down a little. He ranked ninth in rookie defenemen scoring going into December and is now13th, but he is keeping his shot rate up, now ranked fourth among all rookie defensemen, so that’s promising. It’s odd to see the Bears improving so much but their two rookie defensemen not budging much. But still, it’s early.

Garrett Pilon C
December: 11GP 4G 4A
Season: 32GP 6G 11A

Now that Pilon is getting top line time he isn’t disappointing. He is now third in scoring among the Bears forward, only beaten out by AHL veterans Matt Moulson and Mike Sgarbossa. It helps he’s now shooting over two shots a game, up from less than two over the first two months. He was drafted as a center but his future in professional hockey will probably be at wing. Hopefully he can keep building off his great December.

Joe Snively LW
December: 11GP 4G 3A
Season: 31GP 9G 5A

Snively didn’t do too much of anything the first 15 games, only recording two points. It was disappointing because he looked so promising last season. But since then he has eight goals and four assists in his last 16 games. Like Pilon he has benefited from top line time and hopefully this is just the start of what’s to come.

Shane Gersich LW
December: 6GP 1G 0A
Season: 25GP 3G 5A

Gersish has been dealing with an injury, missing three weeks of time. He’s been mainly used in bottom six, a lot of fourth line time, even some at center, which is interesting. But he’s still not impressing as much as he probably should. This is probably the last year for him to really prove it so he needs to get going.

Connor Hobbs RHD
December: 1GP 0G 1A
Season: 15GP 1G 1A

Like Gersich, Hobbs continues to disappoint with his lack of offense from the backend, it just isn’t translating to the next level at this point. Like it was suggested like week, maybe it’s time they try him at forward.

Lucas Johansen LHD
December: 1GP 0G 0A
Season: 7GP 0G 1A

Johansen finally returned from injury after two months out, like last season. It will probably take him a bit to get back to playing condition.

Brett Leason RW
December: 10GP 1G 4A
Season: 29GP 1G 6A

Leason had a very good month all things considered. He continues to be utilized poorly, playing just in the bottom six, sometimes scratched, with no special teams time. Even with all of that he put up five points in 10 games. They really need to start developing better. He needs more ice time.

Bobby Nardella LHD
December: 9GP 1G 6A
Season: 12GP 1G 9A

What a season Bobby is having. Nardella is currently second in rookie defensemen scoring in points per game (0.83). He was an offensive defenseman in his collegiate career and it’s pouring over nicely to the AHL. It is just 12 games, so we’ll see if he can keep up for another month before

Tobias Giesser LHD

Geisser was loaned back to Switzerland to play in the NLA, which is a good idea since their was a logjam of defensemen in Hershey.

Colby Williams RHD
December: 0GP 0G 0A
Season: 14GP 0G 2A

Williams was hurt for the month of December.

Vitek Vanecek G
Season: 17GP .908sv%

Vanecek’s over all numbers might not look great with a .908sv% but he had an absolutely great December, clocking in with a .937sv% in seven games. Is it a fluke or is he just warming up? He’s on a one way contract next season, so he has a lot to prove.

Riley Sutter C/RW
December: 4GP 0G 0A
Season: 8GP 0G 1A

Sutter has been trying to find a place in the lineup after missing so much time on IR. He’s been solely on the fourth line. He’ll need time and a chance to move to improve his numbers.

Kody Clark RW
December: 9GP 1G 0A
Season: 12GP 1G 1A

Clark came back from injury around the same time as Sutter, but Clark has been given more games, also in the bottom six. He’ll have to follow the same footsteps as Sutter.

ECHL - South Carolina Stingrays

Krisofers Bindulis LHD
December: 3GP 0G 1A
Season: 19GP 2G 3A 19 2 3

Don’t know exactly why Bindulis only played three games in December but he did.


Damien Riat RW (NLA)
December: 0GP 0G 0A
Season: 17GP 2G 4A

Riat has been out with injury for quite some time. Hopefully he returns soon.

Hugo Has RHD (Mestis)
December: Mestis 3GP 0G 0A
Season: Mestis 13GP 1G 0A

It’s odd because Hugo hasn’t been putting up numbers in Mestis but he currently has three points in three games at the World Juniors while playing on the bottom pair. He isn’t supposed to be a great offensive defensemen but it’s good to see.

Sebastion Walfridsson LHD (Allsvenskan)
December: 9GP 1G 0A
Season: 33GP 3G 3A

As usual, Walfridsson is a pure defensive defensemen so don’t expect big points from him but he’s at least doing something. Before this season, Sebastian in Allsvenskan league played 56 games and had all of five points (all assists), he’s already passed that this season in half the games.

Kristian Roykas Marthinsen LW (Division 1)
December: 4GP 1G 1A
Season: 23GP 5G 2A

Kristian didn’t play many games in December, but continues to do better since season’s start. The most goals on his team has eight, so he isn’t far behind.


Connor McMichael C (OHL)
December: 4GP 1G 4A
Season: 27GP 25G 34A

McMichael has missed eight games of OHL action while at the World Juniors yet he still ranks third in the OHL scoring race, that’s how much he’s dominated the OHL. What’s even more impressive? He still has 19 more points than the next player on his team even after all this missed time!

He’s had a “slow” December, only scoring five points in four OHL games and having only two points in four WJC games, but it’s hard to dominate all the time. He started the first two games at the WJC on the fourth line and the last two in the top six. Hopefully, he stays in top six going forward for the tournament.

Because of McMichael’s slow December he’s dropped some in some stats, but he’s still top of the league in most. According to Pick224, McMichael is third in the OHL in primary point per game, second in total points per game, and third in even strength primary points per 60 minutes. It’s getting close to that point where Capitals brass might need to start thinking of making room for him next season.

Alexei Protas C (WHL)
December: 3GP 2G 5A
Season: 30GP 20G 29A

Like McMichael, Protas only played three games in December due to playing in World Juniors, though he was playing the D1 WJC, which determines if your team can go to the main World Juniors next year. Protas led Belarus in scoring with seven points in five games. That was also good for fourth in the tournament.

Back to the WHL, Protas came back in style, scoring on every single Prince Albert Raiders goals over a three game span, good for seven points. Even with missing time he’s still fifth in WHL scoring. All four players in front of him have played four or five more games. If he played his average with those extra five games he would be tied for league lead. He’s also second in points per game in the league. Protas also still leads his team by eight points even though he’s played six less games than the second placed player.

According to Pick224, Protas is still leading the league in even strength primary points per game (he’s the only player averaging over a one a game), second in primary points per game (the player that’s #1 is a D+3), and second in primary points per 60 minutes (the player that #1 is a D+3). The Capitals really found a gem with this big Belorussian.

Eric Florchuk C (WHL)
December: 6GP 1G 5A
Season: 29GP 11G 10A

Florchuk continues to be good not great. He’s on pace to finish with the same amount of points he did last year, even though he’s getting more consistent time in top six. He needs to really take a hold of his time and run with it.

Alex Kannok-Leipert RHD (WHL)
December: 8GP 1G 4A
Season: 34GP 2G 9A

Alex has been on an offensive tear since November. He’s put up 10 points in the last 18 games. It may not seem like a whole lot, but you have to remember that Kannok is a defensive defenseman, he put up all of 19 points last season. He’s now eight points short of that in 43 less games than last season.


Benton Maass RHD
December: 3GP 0G 2A
Season: 17GP 1G 3A

Maass had a short December but made the best of it grabbing two points in three games. He’s still not building off his Freshman year, but at least he’s moving in the right direction.

Mitchell Gibson G
Season: 8GP .931sv%

Gibson has been having a great season, it’s a shame he missed some games to injury after the first four games. But he’s still been good since being back. He ranks 10th in save percentage in the NCAA and only second among all Freshmans. The first bring 1st round pick Spencer Knight (.940sv%). He needs more games before really seeing what he’s made of, but so far it’s looking good for Mitchell.