This is the second installment of NoVa Caps’ contributor Luke Adomanis’ monthly updates on Washington Capitals’ prospects. You can read October’s update here.
Kristian Roykas Marthinsen, LW, Drafted in the Seventh-Round in 2017, 18-years old
I picked Marthinsen as one of my two favorite prospects last month and he continues to impress. He’s a goal-scorer through and through and continued as such in November. In 16 games so far this season, he has 17 goals and five assists. His 17 goals are three more than anyone else in the league. He also sits 12th in the league in scoring, mainly because he just doesn’t put up assists, as his assist total would indicate. All 11 players in front of him have at LEAST 11 assists. If he had at least 11 assists, he’d be third in the league in scoring. It’s unknown whether he simply doesn’t pass the puck enough, or maybe he can’t pass well. However, he has a history of scoring more goals than having assists.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, LW, Drafted in the Fifth-Round in 2016, 19-years old
Fjallby hasn’t done too much since the last update. In seven SHL games since, he’s only posted one goal and one assist to give him four goals and three assists in 21 games played this season. Again, it’s important to remember he’s the second-youngest player on the team, so ice time probably isn’t too abundant for him. He needs to find a nice stride in December, before he heads to the World Junior tournament around Christmas.
Damien Riat, LW/RW, Drafted in the Fourth-Round in 2016, 20-years old
Riat has had a very rough November; he didn’t register a single point. He’s still stuck with one goal and five assists. Also one of the youngest players on his team, it can’t be easy to find ice time. Hopefully he can find a fix to his issues and he can get it going.
Tobias Greisser, LHD, Drafted in Fourth-Round in 2017, 18-years old
Greisser has only added an assist in the seven games through November, but like the Capitals’ other defensive defensemen prospects, it’s not a concern. The fact he’s the youngest player on his team by nearly two years and playing against men is good enough news.
Kevin Elgestal, LW/RW, Drafted in the Seventh-Round in 2014, 21-years old
Elgestal’s development continues to disappoint. In his last nine games, he has one point (a goal) to bring his total up to three points in 21 games played. That’s good enough for 13th on his team. He needs to find a new level if he ever wants to come to North America to continue his career.
Sebastian Walffridsson, LHD, Drafted in the Fifth-Round in 2017, 18-years old
After only having one assist in his first six games, Sebastian added two more helpers in the next eight games. Not mind-blowing, but again, he’s more a physical defensemen than point-getter. Plus, he’s the third-youngest player on his team. It will be interesting to see what he can do at the World Juniors in December.
Ilya Samsonov, G, Drafted in the First-Round in 2015, 20-years old
Samsonov continues to have a pretty rough season over in the KHL after his record-setting season last year. Through 17 games, he has a .909 save percentage. Certainly not terrible, but obviously not up to par with his skill set. However, there are reasons for the decline. He’s already had two minor injuries this season, which disrupts any type of flow to his game. Also, his team lost a lot of good defenseman over the summer and the team suffered because of it. Luckily, they got some good defensemen back, but as they did, Samsonov got a concussion. Here’s to hoping he stays healthy and gets back into his groove in December. He remains one of the best goaltenders not playing in the NHL.
AHL – Hershey Bears
Quick note on the Hershey Bears: after getting their starting goaltenders back, the Bears are starting to heat up. Since their 3-5-0 start, they have gone 6-4-3 for a 9-9-3 record. Shootouts still seem to be a problem for them, as all three overtime losses are in the shootout.
Travis Boyd, C, Drafted in the Sixth-Round in 2011, 24-years old
Boyd is Boyd, continuing to play great for the Bears as their first-line center. He sits seventh in scoring in the AHL as a whole with 20 points (three goals 17 assists) in 21 games played, which includes being fourth in primary assists with 10. It would be nice to see that goal total go up, but he is only shooting at 6.12%, which is very low and unlucky. In his career of 152 games, his shooting percentage is a high 16.15%. If he was shooting that percentage this season, he’d have almost eight goals instead of three. But that 16.15% is really high to begin with. Talking about shots, there’s some good news in that department. Through 21 games played, Boyd has 49 shots, which in a full season would net him about 177 shots. Last season, Boyd mustered all of 113 shots, a 64-shot difference. Everyone knows how good of a playmaker Boyd is, but he too often passes when he should shoot. So the high volume of shots is a good sign. Needs to keep it up.
Colby Williams, RHD, Drafted in the Sixth-Round in 2015, 22-years old
Williams continues his good season, upping his points to nine in 21 games played. Not a huge amount, but for a player that isn’t known for his offense, it’s nice. He scored all of 16 points last season in 60 games played. He even got in a fight last weekend and handled himself very well. He could see some playing time in D.C. if there are other injuries (please no).
Lucas Johansen, LHD, Drafted in the First-Round in 2016, 19-years old
Johansen’s rookie season continues to go swimmingly. As a 19-year old, he leads the Bears’ defensemen with 12 points in 20 games played. That’s not only good for third on the whole team, but third among all rookie defensemen in the AHL! One has to think if the Capitals get some breathing room in the standings at the end of the season, he’ll get a look.
Riley Barber, RW, Drafted in the Sixth-Round in 2012, 23-years old
Barber just can’t buy a break this season. With only five goals and six assists in 21 games played, he’s averaging his lowest point per game in a season. But it isn’t his effort that’s the problem. He’s still his old self: a fast two-way player that grinds to get to the slot to fire off his quick shot. A big issue is his linemates. There’s nothing wrong with Jeremy Langlois, but he isn’t a Travis Boyd or Chandler Stephenson. Even still, Barber is playing way better than his stats suggest. He’s actually eighth in the league in shots with 61 and he’s increased his shots per game stat every season he’s played: 2.2, 2.6, and this season, has 2.9 shots per game. If he was shooting at his percentage over the last two seasons, he’d have almost four more goals. So he’s doing the right things, but just isn’t getting the results. Barber should have a better December.
Connor Hobbs, RHD, Drafted in the Fifth-Round in 2015, 20-years old
Unfortunately, Hobbs only played two games in November before suffering a serious upper-body injury. He should be back in mid to late December. It is always tough for rookies to miss significant time.
Jonas Siegenthaler, LHD, Drafted in the Second-Round in 2015, 20-years old
Siegenthaler only added one point to his November totals, but that isn’t too surprising, upping his point total to three in 21 games played. He’s relied on for his defense and shutting down top players, not his offense. Something that is surprising, is Jonas leads Hershey defensemen in shots with 31 in 21 games played. He has the capability to be more offensive, and I would love to see his point totals climb more than one point in a month.
Tyler Lewington, RHD, Drafted in the Seventh-Round in 2013, 22-years old
Lewington was able to add a goal and an assist in November, which brought him up to two points in 20 games played. Like Siegenthaler, Lewington isn’t going to score many points, as it’s his defensive game that matters.
Mathias Bau, LW, Undrafted, 24 years-old
Bau technically isn’t a Washington Capitals prospect, just a Hershey Bear one, but he’s doing well, so I’d figured I’d bring him up. A hulking man at 6’7” and 235 pounds, Bau is enjoying his first season in North America as a rookie. In his first seven games, he had only one point (assist), but in his last nine games, he has seven points (six goals and one assist). Is it a hot streak or is Bau finding his game in America? We’ll have to see as the season goes on.
Kristofers Bindulis, LHD, 20-years old, Mason Mitchell, LW, 23-years old, Hampus Gustafsson, C/LW, 24-years old
I grouped these three players last time (all three college free agents signed last spring) and figured I’d do it again since they aren’t playing in consistent games, often they are healthy scratches and when they are in, it’s limited time. Mason has a goal and assist in 11 games played, Gustafsson has one assist in 13 games played, and Bindulis has zero points in six games played. Hopefully, they get more playing time as the season goes on to see what kind of potential they have.
ECHL – South Carolina Stingrways
Tim McGauley, C/LW, Undrafted, 22-years old
McGauley is continuing to have a good season for the Stingrays with one goal and seven assists in 12 games played. He’s still getting looks on the wing while being a natural center. Hopefully he gets an AHL call-up this season.
Adam Carlson, G, Undrafted, 23-years old
Health woes continue for Carlson. He had a decent stint in the AHL before going back down to the ECHL, but only played one game before getting hurt. He needs to get and stay healthy.
Benton Mass, RHD, Drafted in the Sixth-Round in 2017, 18-years old
After getting off to a hot start in October with nine assists in seven games, Mass has slowed down a bit, only adding one goal and two assists over the following five games. But for a rookie defensemen who is the second-youngest on his team, it’s still very impressive. His 11 points in 12 games is good enough for second in points on the team. For a rookie defensemen to be doing that isn’t easy. He’s still only registering one shot a game, and that needs to improve.
Steven Spinner, RW, Drafted in the Sixth-Round in 2014, 21-years old
Spinner has also slowed down a bit since his hot start, only putting up one goal and two assists in his last five games, but that’s still good. He’s second on his team in points as a Junior, which is promising. He was doing well on shots rate in his first month, but hasn’t been so great since. That could explain the point drop in November. He needs to keep shooting!
Shane Gersich, C/LW, Drafted in the Fifth-Round in 2014, 21-years old
Gersich continues to have a rough go in his Junior year after his spectacular Sophomore season. Through 16 games played, he only has five goals and four assists, and he should probably be close to doubling that. Again, the main reason for this is he went from having Tyler Jost, a high-end prospect for the Colorado Avalanche, as his center to Rhett Gardner, a decent, not great prospect for the Dallas Stars. His shooting percentage is also down. Last season, he was shooting at a 13.7% clip, and this season just 9.4%. Again, a lot of that has to do with going from an elite college center to a decent one. He needs to find a way to produce and drive his team.
Chase Priskie, RHD, Drafted in the Sixth-Round in 2016, 21-years old
Priskie is picking up his play, scoring three goals and adding four assists in his last nine games played. His total five goals is tied for fourth among defensmen in the college ranks. His 10 points in 13 games is third on his team. The captain is leading the way.
Brian Pinho, C, Drafted in the Sixth-Round in 2013, 22-years old
After only having one goal and two assists in his first seven games, Pinho has recorded three goals and four assists in his last seven games. So good news he’s starting to find his stride again. He needs to keep it up and lead his team as captain.
Garrett Pilon, C, Drafted in the Third-Round in 2016, 19-years old
Pilon has had a great November. After recording 13 points in his first 15 games played, Pilon has put up 22 points over the following 10 games! He’s totaled 35 points in 25 games, good enough for 18th in the WHL. And that’s on a team that’s 17th out of 22, so it’s not exactly a powerhouse team. He leads his whole team by 11 points. Something else that’s super impressive about Pilon’s season so far, is he’s racked up 130 shots (over five shots a game), which is tied for second in the whole league. This is promising for a player that was considered too much of a pass-first center.
Beck Malenstyn, LW, Drafted in the Fifth-Round in 2016, 19-years old
Malenstyn remains injured and didn’t play a game in all of November, however, there are two pieces of good news for him. First, he’s only a couple weeks from being back, and secondly, he was traded to the third-best team in the WHL, after playing for the second-worst in the league. Hopefully, a better team means better linemates and he can get to scoring goals.
Dmitri Zaitsev, LHD, Drafted in the Seventh-Round in 2016, 19-years old
The steady defensive defensemen has shown off his passing ability this season for his team, posting nine assists in 20 games played, with a plus-18. As stated, his numbers will never reflect his play since he will never be a point-getter. For him it’s all about defense.
Stats courtesy of Washington Capitals.
By Luke Adomanis