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Washington Capitals Prospect Update: October

Checking in on how the organization’s depth has performed through the first month of the season

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 season is a couple of weeks old, and with October officially in the books, it’s time to take a look at how the Caps’ prospect pool has performed so far.

CHL

Jake Karabela, C
13GP: 3G - 3A - 6PTS

Karabela is having one of those weird starts where everyone around him is putting up points but he isn’t. He’s been getting top six minutes but he has just six points in the first 13 games. It’s still very early so not worth looking into it too much but you’d like to see more points on the board for him. At this point he’s on pace to score lower than his freshman OHL season, which is never good.

Hakon Hanelt, C/W
13GP: 1G - 4A - 5PTS

Hakon is another player that just hasn’t made the most of his time in the top six. He’s been getting those big minutes to start the season and just hasn’t been producing as well as you’d like to see. He’s played center and both wings so far as well. Again, it’s early, can’t look too much into it but you’d like to see a lot more from him point wise.

Ryan Hofer, C
11GP: 6G - 5A - 11PTS

Hofer has started the season well, at a point per game pace. It’s not crazy impressive since he is 20 years old but he’s on pace to have his best year yet and that’s what it’s all about: getting better and better every season. The ceiling probably isn’t high for him but with his size, if he can keep evolving his skill, he’d make a nice NHL player.

Alexander Suzdalev, LW
13GP: 6G - 4A - 10PTS

Suzdalev is having a strong start to his junior career. The shame of it all, is it looked like he was destined to play wing to Connor Bedard, the next Auston Matthews, because they tore it up together in pre-season. But for some reason he has only played ONE game with him this season, which is a head scratcher. Outside of Bedard, the Regina Pats are a very weak team. They have just one drafted player on their team and it’s a third round picked defensemen. So Suzdalev is playing with a lot of meh talent. Hopefully at some point he’s put on Bedard’s wing and he can start to really cook.

Dru Krebs, LHD
11GP: 0G - 8A - 8PTS

Krebs is having a much better offensive start to his year than he did last season. He’s on pace to score 30 more points than he did all of last season. Now, Krebs’ game isn’t solely offensive, he prides himself more as a two-way player but it doesn’t hurt to put up some points. It also helps his team isn’t just absolutely terrible. Last season they were the worst team by a good amount. He just needs to keep growing his game.

NCAA

Joaquim Lemay, LHD
8GP: 1G - 3A - 4PTS

Lemay has continued his strong play from last year in the USHL into his NCAA career. With bottom pairing minutes he’s posting a point every other game. He’s a guy you can see that will just get better and better the more experience he gains. The hope is he doesn’t play his way into free agency, but that’s far off.

Brent Johnson, RHD
6GP: 0G - 3A - 3PTS

Johnson matched his Freshman’s point total of three points last season in the first four games of the season in Sophomore year. The difference is he went from being mainly the seventh defensemen playing every game to getting second pairing minutes. I’m a big fan of Johnson and, like Lemay, will only get better and better the more he plays.

David Gucciardi, LHD
6GP: 2G - 0A - 2PTS

Gucciardi started this season like Johnson did last season as the number seven defensemen, but just after a handful of game he moved up to the bottom pairing and last game he was on the second pairing. He’s 20 already so you want to see him get as many minutes as possible.

Ryan Chesley, RHD
8GP: 0G - 2A - 2PTS

Chesley started the season really well offensively with two points in the first two games but didn’t put up a point for the next six games. Chesley has high ceiling and he isn’t a pure offensive defensemen, but he’s on a strong team getting second pair minutes so you want to see those numbers go up as the season goes on.

Chase Clark, G
2GP: 0.00GAA 1.00sv%

Those numbers look great but both those games Chase came in relief and just faced four shots. He’s probably going to be backup for most this season so hopefully he makes the best of it when he does get to start games.

Mitchell Gibson, G
1GP: 2.00GAA, .895SV%

Gibson is in his very important Senior season. After this he can hit free agency if he wants if the Caps don’t get him signed. He’s been very good every year he’s played, but one game is, obviously, not enough to show anything.

EUROPE

Bogdan Trineyev, LW
KHL 10GP: 0G - 2A - 2PTS
VHL 2GP: 0G - 0A - 0PTS

Bogdan has kind of a wild season in Russia, most Russian kids do. He stared in the KHL with two points in his first three games, playing another three games in the KHL before going back down to the VHL for two games, then playing the last four games in the KHL. His play time was everywhere: he played games as low as 1:47 and as much as much as 12:16 in the KHL. Obviously, it’s hard to get any consistency with time like that. Hopefully, as the season goes on his KHL team will give him more time.

Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW
VHL: 0GP

Everyone is waiting patiently for Ivan to finally be cleared to start playing some hockey games. He has been practicing with his VHL team, which is a great sign, but it’s unknown when he’ll be able to start playing games again.

Tobias Geisser, LHD
NL 16GP: 0G - 8A - 8PTS

Geisser is back in the top league in Switzerland doing what he does best: playing high end defense. It will be interesting to see if the Caps bring him over at some point this season or next to see what he can do in the NHL. Could they have another Jonas Siegenhaler on their hands? Don’t want to lose another one of those.

Damien Riat, RW
NL 16GP: 2G - 5A - 7PTS

I was debating on adding Riat to this list, as he looks like a player that won’t come back to North America. He’s having a fine but not great season. He’s on pace to have a worst season than last time he played in the NL with a lot more games played. He needs to step it up.

Ludwig Persson, C/LW
HockeyAllsvenskan 9GP: 3G - 2A - 5PTS

Persson is off to a good start in, essentially, Swedens AHL development league. The one concern is he scored all five points in just three games. You’d like to see him be more consistent on scoring. It’s unknown how much time he’s getting or where he’s being slotted, but it’s still a good start for Persson.

Oskar Magnusson, C/RW
HockeyAllsvenskan 12GP: 1G - 4A - 5PTS

Oskar started the season great with a goal and an assist in his first game, but scored just three more points in the next 11 games. That’s simply isn’t good enough. It’s his second year in Allsvenskan, so he needs to be way more consistent and impactful.

ECHL

Martin Hugo Has
1GP: 1G - 0A - 1PTS

It took all off season and it was cutting it close, but Martin finally signed and headed to Carolina Stingrays. He’s played just one game but got a goal. We’ll have to see how he does going forward.

AHL

Garret Pilon, C/LW/RW
7GP: 1G - 4A - 5PTS

Pilon is hitting a critical part of his career. It’s probably the last year he has to prove he’s a NHL player. By the way he play he certainly looks like he could be a good third line player in the NHL but the Caps are stacked at forward. He’s bound to have a good AHL season and probably go elsewhere next season.

Bobby Nardella, LHD
7GP: 1G - 4A - 5PTS

Nardella is like Pilon, probably a NHL player, but just won’t get a chance here with the Caps. He’s off to a good start in the AHL.

Hendrix Lapierre, C
7GP: 1G - 3A - 4PTS

Lapierre is, unfortunately, not getting the top six minutes he needs to get to keep improving, he’s been on the third line to start the season. But he’s making the most of it by putting up a respectful four points in seven games to start the season. Caps brass need to be hounding the Bears to give Lapierre more minutes going forward.

Riley Sutter, C/RW
7GP: 2G - 0A - 2PTS

Sutter probably won’t be much of a NHL player, more of a tweener. If he wants to prove he’s more he needs to stay healthy and start producing, which won’t be easy since he mainly plays on the fourth line with the Bears.

Lucas Johansen, LHD
6GP: 1G - 0A - 1PTS

Johansen probably should have made the Caps out of camp with the way he played in preseason, but alas, Laviolette. Points are not that important for him, as he’s more of a defensive guy, but you’d still like to see a couple more points to start the season. Most of all he needs to stay healthy.

Vincent Iorio, RHD
7GP: 0G - 1A - 1PTS

The surprise standout of the NHL preseason, Iorio, is looking good to start his AHL career. He’s been getting bottom pairing minutes and making the most of it. One point isn’t amazing but he also isn’t a pure offensive defensemen. For him, it’s all about getting used to the speed of the game and the physicality in the professionals.

Alexander Alexeyev, LHD
2GP: 0G - 0A - 0PTS

Poor Alexeyev, this was supposed to be the year he made the leap to the NHL but he was out all summer and to start the season with a shoulder injury. He’s got two games in and the points don’t matter now. What’s important is he gets back to game speed and strength, then he’ll join the Caps or have to pass through waivers, which I doubt the Caps allow to happen.

Beck Malenstyn, LW/RW
2GP: 0G - 0A - 0PTS
NHL 4GP: 1G - 1A - 2PTS

Malenstyn is what he is: a speedy, grindy fourth line with a decent release. He’s been doing well in his short stint with the Caps. He probably won’t be there long as the Caps get healthy but he’s made the most of it.

Henrik Rybinski, C/RW
3GP: 0G - 0A - 0PTS

Rybinski hasn’t produced yet with the Bears but he’s been only on the fourth line. For him it’s just learning the professional game and just adapting his skilled game to that. He’ll need to cook a couple years in the AHL but he looks promising.

Kody Clark, RW
0GP

Clark has been injured since the preseason. It might be time to give up all hope on him. He can’t seem to stay healthy and when he is he isn’t producing like a second round pick.

Hunter Shepard, G
2GP: 2.42GAA - .921sv%

Shepard is off to a good start. It will be interesting to see how he does in his first full season in the AHL. There’s something to his game that makes you think he could play in the NHL if he was given a chance. We’ll see.

Zach Fucale, G
5GP: 2.23GAA - .898sv%

Fucale is certainly keeping up a good goal against average but that save percentage needs to go up. He’s been great for the Caps organization since he got here so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.