We continue or prospect review and forecast series with a review and forecast for Jonas Siegenthaler. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Siegenthaler signed a three-year entry-level contract on July 30th, 2015, for $925,000 AAV. Siegenthaler (21), will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2021 (entry-level slide) and will be waivers-exempt for the coming 2018-2019 season.
Siegenthaler first came to Hershey at the end of the 2015-2016 season where he played in six games and registered a single point. Siegenthaler also joined the Bears at the conclusion of his last season with Zurich SC in 2017. He saw action in seven games but was held-off the score sheet.
2017-2018 SEASON SUMMARY
Siegenthlaer played in 75 of the Bears 76 games in his first full season with the Bears, the most games played in a season for Siegenthaler, by far. He finished the year with six goals and six assists for 12 points. His offensive high-water mark came on March 18 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he scored a pair of goals. (Game recap and video here.)
Siegenthaler was paired with Tyler Lewington late in the season, which seemed to pay big dividends for the Bears. The duo became arguabley the Bears best blueline pair for the remainder of the season. We will see if the new Bears coaching staff decides to continue the pairing.
The .12 points per game average ranked 29th among Bears players who saw game action last season.
2017-2018 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Jonas Siegenthaler during the 2017-2018 season.
This will be Siegenthaler’s first full season in the AHL. He probably doesn’t need much more seasoning before being ready for the NHL ranks. A very reliable defenseman that has been tasked with second-pairing time in Hershey, he has put up one goal and one assist in nine games. Again, don’t expect big numbers from him. His strength is being defensively smart and he has the skill to get a good pass up the ice and join the rush. Depending how this season goes, he could be pushing for a spot next season on the Capitals’ roster.
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.
After a somewhat slow and shaky start, Siegenthaler appears to be settling into the American brand of hockey. Siegenthaler showed inexperience in one-on-one play and puck battles during the early going of the season, but has since began to slowly figure things out. Siegenthaler scored two goals and no assists in the month of December, and continues to lead all Nears defensemen in shots on goal.
Jonas had just two assists in 10 January games, but that isn’t too surprising. He’s a defensive defenseman that is still having trouble adapting to the North American game. Turnovers still plague him, but that isn’t too surprising. He isn’t used to the speed of the game over here and it’s something he’ll need to adapt to stay successful. He only had eight shots in January and though he is supposed to be on the defensive side, it’s something we’d like to see an uptick in.
The Swiss-born defenseman went through a rough patch starting at the Outdoor Classic on January 20 and running through February 9. He was a -11 during that eight-game stretch. He has returned to his steady play since. That -11 is his plus/minus rating for the season, which means he is even for his other 48 games. That stretch could be attributed to the number of games Seigenthaler has played. He is not used to the length of the season on this side of the Atlantic. The 56 games he has played thus far are the most games he has played in a single regular season. His previous high was 41. He has likely hit the wall, but has since regained his form. Offensively, Seigenthaler does not provide much. He has three goals and six assists on the season. However, he is a steady defenseman. Recently, he has been paired with Tyler Lewington and they have formed Hershey’s best defensive pairing. Both are stay-at-home guys who make the right decisions in their own zone. The pair is often paired on the penalty kill as well.
The Swiss-born defenseman snapped a 40-game goalless drought with a goal in the first period on March 18 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He then added another tally in the third period for his first career two-goal game. Those two goals were the only points Siegenthaler had in March, but he is not known for his offense. He is more of a stay-at-home defenseman. Unlike Williams, Siegenthaler usually makes the smart decision in his own zone. He does not try to force a pass that is not there. His positioning is also usually sound. Yes, there are nights when he makes mistakes, but he does not make the same mistake over-and-over again. Having a full season in North America will help Siegenthaler’s development moving forward and he should continue to improve.
At 21, Jonas has a lot of hockey already tucked under his belt, but still will require time mastering the North American game. Turnovers plagued him last season, as the speed of the American style of game took its toll on Jonas at times.
Never a big points scorer and a traditional “stay-at-home” defenseman by nature, his offensive numbers will need to improve to make the step up to today’s NHL style of play. Siegenthaler was 7th on the Bears in total PIM’s, which will also need to be reduced in the coming season.
Siegenthaler will look to improve his decision making with the puck, zone exits and defensive positioning this coming season in Hershey. He is still at least a year off, which may be disappointing to some, but at 21, he still has time to improve his American game.
By Jon Sorensen