Welcome to the first installment of NoVa Caps’ monthly reports for Washington Capitals’ prospects. This report summarizes activities for each Capitals’ prospect for the month of October, 2018, and provides an overall “Trending” rating for each player. We also provide a “Top 5 Prospects” ranking for each primary position at the end of the report.
You can always check out all of our prospect analysis and reports under the “Prospects” tab in the main menu. You can also follow #CapsProspects hash-tag stream on Twitter for the latest Capitals prospect news.
The report organizes the Capitals’ prospects by the six primary leagues of play. They include:
- American Hockey League (AHL)
- Western Hockey League (WHL)
- Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
- East Coast Hockey League (ECHL)
- National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
- European Hockey Leagues (SHL/NLA)
All news, stats and data were aggregated and compiled throughout the month of October and finalized on, or just prior to October 31, 2018.
AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE (BEARS)
The Hershey Bears opened their 2018-2019 campaign with a weekend set at home on October 6 and 7, and dropped both games. The Bears would then hit the road for seven consecutive games, eventually starting the season with five straight losses before posting their first win, a road victory against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Bears would continue their rebound by taking 3 of 4 points in a weekend set against the Checkers in Charlotte the following weekend (here and here). The Bears would finish the month with big home wins over the Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, going 4-1-1 for an overall record of 4-6-0-1 at the end of October. It’s early, but things look to be on the uptick in Chocolate town.
Ilya Samsonov – G – Drafted first-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
After an impressive prospect tournament and training camp, Samsonov made his North American professional debut for the Bears on October 6 and took a 3-2 loss. Besides the loss, Samsonov looked fairly comfortable, making several really nice saves, stopping 28 of 31 shots. However, Samsonov would start the season 0-3-0 with a 4.04 Goals-against Average and a .859 save percentage before sustaining a minor injury in practice on October 18. The Bears and Vitek Vanecek would win three straight road games in Samsonov’s absence. Vanecek played well and was named Player of the Week, but in Samsonov’s defense, the team also seemed to settle down a bit on offense and special teams after the dreadful 0-5-0 start. Samsonov would return as a starter on October 27 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, a game in which he would stop 18 of 21 shots to secure his first AHL victory (here). Samsonov finished the month of October with a record of 1-3-0, with a 3.70 goals-against average and a .860 save percentage.
Vitek Vanecek – G – Drafted second-round, 2014 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Vanecek was the forgotten goalie coming into this season with the focus being on the prized prospect in Samsonov. Vanecek is not forgotten now. He has played well and has accounted for three of Hershey’s four wins this season. The Czech goalie went 2-0-1 with a 1.62 goals–against average and a .949 save percentage in three games during the week ending October 21. This included a 40-save performance at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, leading the Bears to their first win of the season. He then stole a point for his team in Charlotte when Hershey was outshot 33-13 and then shut out the same opponent the next night. Vanecek was named the AHL Player of the Week for his performance in those games. After dropping his next start at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Vanecek rebounded with a strong effort against Lehigh Valley. He made 34 saves and led the Bears to a 3-1 win over the rival Phantoms. Vanecek is playing with a lot of confidence. He is seeing the puck well and his positioning has been on point. Parker Milner was called up on October 31 after it was revealed that Vanecek was dealing with a minor injury.
Tyler Lewington – D – Drafted seventh-round, 2013 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
Lewington continues to be a steadying presence on the Hershey blueline. The quintessential stay-at-home defenseman has been paired mostly with familiar partners Aaron Ness and Lucas Johansen. He once again has been a good influence on Johansen, as the young defenseman’s game has improved while playing alongside Lewington. He is also an anchor on the penalty kill. The Edmonton native still sticks up for his teammates. When rookie forward Shane Gersich was drilled on a charge by Charlotte’s Josiah Didier, Lewington stepped up and fought Didier. It cost him 17 minutes in penalties, but the message was sent that if an opponent goes after a teammate, they will have to answer to Lewington. Offensively, Lewington does not contribute much, but does have a goal and an assist in 11 games. That is not much, but he is likely to surpass his goal total of two from last season. Lewington is overdue for a chance to make his NHL debut, one that could come this season.
Kris Bindulis – D – Undrafted – 23–years old
Bindulis played in just one game for the Bears in October. In 2017-18, Bindulis split his time between Hershey and South Carolina (ECHL), and could do the same this season. Last season he appeared in 34 games with the Stingrays, recording 15 points (four goals, 11 assists). With Hershey, he appeared in 12 games, tallying one assist. It will likely come down to finding playing time to develop for Bindulis.
Lucas Johansen – D – Drafted first-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
Johansen has settled in after a rough start to the season. He was a minus-5 in Hershey’s three-game weekend stretch at Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and Rockford. Recently, he has been paired with Tyler Lewington and the chemistry the pair had last season returned quickly. There is something about Lewington that brings out the best in Johansen. The native of British Columbia has improved his decision-making process since re-joining Lewington, as has his overall defensive play. Offensively, Johansen has three points in his last five games. He appears to be more confident offensively than he was in the last few months of last season. If Johansen can keep his offensive production going and still play good defense, he gives the Bears a high-end, all-around defenseman.
Connor Hobbs – D – Drafted fifth-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
Hobbs’ rookie season in 2017-18 was marked by injury and struggles. He appeared in only 44 games due to a wrist injury and was never able to find his game. He was put into situations he was not ready for by then-Head Coach Troy Mann and understandably struggled. Healthy this season, Hobbs looks more confident in his game and has been able to handle situations thrown his way. He has been making better decisions in his own zone and as a result, has made better passes out of the defensive end. Hobbs is also starting to show the offensive ability that saw him tally 31 goals and 85 points in his last season with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. He leads the Bears with five assists and has also chipped in with one goal. He has six points on the season in 11 games, which puts him on pace to significantly surpass his point total of 16 from last season.
Colby Williams – D – Drafted sixth-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
The 2017-18 season was not a good one for Williams. He took a step back in every way after a promising rookie season. Hershey is looking for a rebound season out of Williams. In the season opener, Williams looked more confident than he did at any point last season. He took the easy pass out of the zone and simplified his game. Offensively, he had two assists. He was also a plus-2, which is important for a player who was a minus-15 last season. Williams played in the second game of the season, but then missed the next five games due to injury. He returned on Friday in the Bears’ loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on October 26, but was scratched for the rematch the following night. He returned to the lineup on Sunday against Lehigh Valley and assisted on Liam O’Brien’s game-winning goal. Williams has seen limited action thus far this season, but he looks like a completely different player from last season, which is a good sign for Hershey.
Aaron Ness – D – Drafted second-round, 2008 NHL Entry Draft (New York Islanders) – 28-years old
Ness appeared in all 11 games for the Bears in the month of October, anchoring the top defensive pair with Connor Hobbs. He registered no goals and four assists in October. (In 2017-18, Ness led Bears defenders with 29 points (four goals, 25 assists) in 55 games. Ness has 38 goals and 162 assists in eight-plus seasons). Ness, along with Tyler Lewington, have been a solid, steady pieces on an otherwise young and relatively inexperienced blueline. While a long-term future with the Capitals may be waning, his value in Hershey, both as a mentor and player, can’t be underestimated. Ness registered his 200th career AHL point against the Phantoms on October 28. Ness was recalled by the Capitals on October 31 in response to an injury sustained by veteran Brooks Orpik.
Tobias Geisser – D – Drafted fourth–round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19–years old
Geisser made his AHL start in Grand Rapids on 10/12. In an interview with Bears radio, Bears head coach Spencer Carbery commented that Geisser has improved tremendously in the month that he’s known him. Carbery said he was impressed by how fast Geisser was learning the AHL game. Unfortunately, Geisser would sustain an injury and play in just two games for the month of October.
Jonas Siegenthaler – D – Drafted second-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
Siegenthaler had an excellent training camp with the Capitals and was the last cut on the blue-line. There was a point at which it looked like he would make the NHL roster out of camp. The hope was that he would come down to Hershey and continue to play at the same level he did in training camp. That did not happen. His game dropped significantly. On Opening Night, Syracuse’s Carter Verhaeghe went right around Siegenthaler to score a power play goal. The next night, he took a bad tripping penalty that led to Bridgeport’s game-winning power play goal. His poor play continued on the Bears’ road trip. On October 12, he gave the puck to Grand Rapids’ Carter Camper in the slot. Camper scored to put Hershey down two goals. Siegenthaler had no points and was a minus-4 in his first nine games. He has had an assist in each of his last two games. The Bears hope that is the start of a turnaround for the Swiss-born defenseman.
Shane Gersich – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2014 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Washington sent Gersich to Hershey to get the young forward top-six minutes. He has gotten that and has been playing on the top-line with Michael Sgarbossa and Riley Barber. Gersich has been getting a lot of shots (he has taken 28), but has only converted on one. He needs to improve on that and put in more of his chances. He did seal the win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on October 27 when he converted his shootout opportunity to give the Bears an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the shootout. Three of Gersich’s five points, including his only goal (here), have come on the power play. His even-strength play needs to improve. He was a minus-7 during a seven-game stretch from October 12 to October 26. The Minnesota native should get better as the season progress. Gersich is still learning the professional game and there is a learning curve. His talent is evident and his speed is undeniable. He just needs to find consistency.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
After starting the season with rumors swirling that Jonsson-Fjallby was considering returning to Djurgarden, his home team in the Swedish league, Axel settled in to life in the AHL. Jonsson-Fjallby played in all 11 games for the Bears in the month of October, registering one goal and no assists. He’s still learning the American game, but his speed and ice awareness have already been on full display, and had a number of breakaways. He will need to finish on those breakaways in the coming months. He will also need to work on his play along the boards, but this too will take some time. Axel will also need to shoot more, as he registered just 10 shots on goal in the 11 games he played. Jonsson-Fjallby began work on the penalty kill at Capitals training camp, and has continued to play on special teams in Hershey.
Beck Malenstyn – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
A scorer in the WHL the past two seasons, Malenstyn has started slowly in his opening professional campaign. He has netted one goal and added one assist in 11 games. Like his fellow rookies, he is still finding his way as a pro. It will take some time, but the White Rock, British Columbia native will become a scorer for the Bears. He scored his first goal on Saturday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and it tied the game at three in the third period. He has that weight off of his shoulders. Now, he can just play. Malenstyn has taken three minor penalties, two of which have come in the offensive zone. He needs to learn to be smarter in those situations.
Riley Barber – RW – Drafted sixth-round, 2012 NHL Entry Draft – 24-years old
This is a big season for Barber. He is coming off of two seasons hindered by serious injuries and needs to establish himself as a steady player. He has proven to be a steady goal scorer when healthy and Hershey is counting on him to provide goals this season. He led the Bears in goals last season with 20. Barber had three assists in five games, but then missed three straight due to a minor injury. He came back last week and scored his first two goals of the season over the weekend. His first tally of the season came shorthanded and tied the game for Hershey on Saturday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He also scored the Bears’ first goal in the shootout. He then scored on a penalty shot on Sunday in third period in a 3-1 win over Lehigh Valley. The Pittsburgh native has shown the ability to get hot once he gets going and the two goals this past weekend could be the start of one of those streaks.
Liam O’Brien – LW – Undrafted – 24-years old
O’Brien had a solid training camp with the Capitals and pushed to make the Opening Night roster. He came back to Hershey and has continued his strong play. O’Brien set a career-high in goals last season with 17 and is on his way to setting another career-high. He leads the Bears in goals with six and in points with seven. Those six goals have him tied for fifth in the AHL. He has two of the team’s three game-winning goals (Hershey’s other win came in a shootout) and is tied for second in the league in that category. O’Brien is the longest-tenured player in Hershey and he has been everything the Bears have needed him to be. He has a letter on his sweater for the first time and he has taken to the leadership role. He plays in all situations, seeing time on both the penalty kill and power play units. If O’Brien continues to play like he is, he will become a fourth-line option for the Capitals.
Hampus Gustafsson – C/LW – Undrafted – 25-years old.
Gustafsson finished the month of October with no goals and one assist in seven games played. In an interview published by HockeySverige, Gustafsson confirmed his commitment to remain in the United States, chasing his dream of playing in the NHL. “To date, my focus is to continue playing here, then I know there are very good leagues in Europe. At the moment, however, I feel I want to play here, while I do not want to close any doors for anything else either. It usually does not help if you start thinking about such things during the season. I’m trying to keep the focus here and now”.
Garrett Pilon – C – Drafted third round, 2017 – 20-years old
Pilon has played in all 11 games for the Bears, registering no goals and four assists. He has registered just 15 shots so far this season. Pilon has yet to find the back of the net for his first professional goal, but the rookie has played well overall. He scored 34 goals and 46 assists in junior hockey last season. He has contributed four assists. The goals and points will come as Pilon becomes more comfortable with the professional game. The son of former NHL defenseman Rich Pilon has played a responsible game on both ends of the ice. That is a credit to him because playing center has a lot of responsibilities. Also, Pilon has not taken a single penalty. Once he starts scoring, Pilon will be a good two-way player for the Bears. Pilon finished October centering the third line with O’Brien and Whitney. Pilon signed a three-year entry-level contract on March 30th, 2017 at $925,000 AAV. Pilon is waivers-exempt for the coming season.
Max Kammerer – LW – Undrafted – 22–years old
Kammerer was signed by the Capitals on May 9, 2018 (here). So far this season, he has no goals and three assists. In 2017-18, Max posted 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) with Duesseldorf EG, good for second on the team, and led the team in assists with 25. Kammerer is still learning the American game and should see an increase in offensive production,as the season progresses.
Sergei Shumakov – RW – Free Agent (KHL) – 26–years old
Shumakov was a late arrival to Capitals training camp, due to visa issues in Moscow. Upon arrival it was fairly evident he was not quite ready to jump into NHL game action, and was ultimately re-assigned to Hershey on September 27. Shumakov would play in just five games before being injured in a game against Rockford on October 14. Shumakov injured his wrist/forearm and was still listed “week-to-week” at the end of October. Chris Kuc has reported that it will be another month before Shumakov returns to the lineup. Before being injured, Shumakov registered two goals, both in a game against Grand Rapids on October 12 (here). He had no assists before sustaining his injury. Any notion of Shumakov joining the Capitals has likely been pushed back to the beginning of 2019, considering he still needs to get back into game shape and still needs time to learn the American game. Shumakov signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Capitals on September 1 (here).
Mathias Bau – LW/RW – Undrafted – 25-years old
Mathias Bau was released from Capitals training camp on September 22, but was not immediately added to the Bears training camp roster due to injury. He would not play a game in the month of October.
Mason Mitchell – LW – Undrafted – 24–years old
Mitchell was re-assigned to the Bears from Capitals training camp on September 22. Mitchell played in no games so far this season. There is a good chance that he could see some time with the South Carolina Stingrays in order to get playing time.
Brian Pinho – C – Drafted sixth-round, 2013 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
It has been a quiet start to Pinho’s professional career. He is off to a slow start offensively, having only one goal (here) through 11 games. That can happen to a rookie at the start of his career. More surprisingly, Pinho has struggled defensively. He is a center who is known for being a strong player in his own zone. He was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Forward last season while at Providence and also earned the Frank Jones Award as New England’s Best Defensive Forward. He is a minus-6 on the season and has been a plus player only once this season. That is not what Hershey or Washington expected out of Pinho. He needs to get back to doing the little things right in his own zone. Once he corrects that end of his game, Pinho’s offense will follow. Despite his struggles, he still plays hard every night and contributes on the penalty kill.
Juuso Ikonen – RW/LW – Undrafted – 23–years old
Ikonen began the season dealing with an injury, and didn’t make his AHL debut until October 20 in Charlotte. Ikonen has one assist in four games played for the Bears. In 2017-18, potted 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 49 games with Brynas IF Gavle, and was tied for third on team in goals and fourth on team in points.
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE (WHL)
Alexander Alexeyev – D – Drafted first-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18-years old
Alexeyev was released from Capitals training camp on September 19 in time for the start of Red Deer’s regular season on September 21. Alexeyev started fast for the Rebels, registering goals in each of his first two games on opening weekend with Red Deer. He would continue his scoring hot streak with a goal in the first game the following weekend against Calgary, making it three goals in three games for the southpaw from St. Petersburg, Russia. Alexeyev potted the overtime game-winning goal for the Rebels against the Kootenay Ice on October 20 and continued his hot streak, scoring two more goals in the following game against the Calgary Hitmen on October 23. (here). Alexeyev scored a goal and two assists in the Rebels final game of October against Kootenay. Offensively, he finished the first month of the season with seven goals, (two power play goals) and 13 assists for 20 points, (second-most on Red Deer) in 15 games played, for a 1.33 points per game average. Alexeyev registered 41 shots on goal for a 17.0 shooting percentage. Defensively, Alexeyev finished the month with a plus-8 on the way to a 10-4-1-0 record for the Rebels. He would play the entire month on the top defensive pair for Red Deer. Alexeyev was named the WHL player of the week for the last week in October (here). He is currently second among all WHL defensemen in points.
Riley Sutter – C – Drafted third-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18-years old
Sutter was released from Capitals training camp on September 19, in time for the start of the season for his WHL team, the Everett Silvertips, on September 21. Sutter started the season as the center on the top-line for the Silvertips, and remained there for the month of October. On September 29, Sutter signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals (here). That night he would pot two goals and an assist against Swift Current to celebrate his new deal. On October 13, Sutter continued his scoring streak with a pair of goals and an assist in Everett’s 7-2 win over the Kamloops Blazers (here). Sutter finished the month with seven goals and 11 assists in 15 games played for a 1.2 points per game average. Sutter’s seven goals on 46 shots was good enough for a 15.2 shooting percentage. On October 29, Sutter was named to Team Canada for the upcoming CIBC Canada vs. Russia series (here). Players from the OHL, QMJHL and WHL will play a six-game series against the Russian national junior team from November 5-15. More on the series here.
Eric Florchuk – C – Drafted seventh–round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18–years old
Florchuk was also released from Capitals training camp on September 19, in time to rejoin the Saskatoon Blades for their season opener on September 21. Florchuk started the season at left wing on the top-line for the Blades, and registered three assists in the second game of the season. Florchuk heated up in the second week of the season, scoring a pair of goals against the Edmonton Oil Kings and a goal against the Red Deer Rebels. Florchuk finished the month with five goals and 10 assists in 16 games played, good enough for .940 points per game average. Last year he averaged 0.69 points per game through 71 games. Florchuk registered 41 shots on goal for a 12.2 shooting percentage.
Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen – LW – Drafted seventh-round, 2017 NHL Entry Dradt – 19-years old
Marthinsen potted his first WHL goal for the Saskatoon Blades on September 29, with a nice dangle and wrister from the top of slot. The Norwegian left winger was elevated to the top-line for the Blades in the middle of October, where he seems to be settling in. Marthinsen finished the month of October with five goals and three assists in 16 games played, good enough for a 0.50 points per game average. Marthinsen registered 45 shots on goal, for a 11.1 shooting percentage. He should see more scoring production after being elevated to the top-line.
Alex Kannock–Leipert – D – Drafted sixth–round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18–years old
Kannock-Laipert finished the month with a goal and three assists in 16 games played for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. Kannok-Leipert didn’t put up an insane amount of points last season, just 21 in 60 games, but when he was 16 he led the Sasketchewan Midget Hockey League in points by a defenseman, so there could be more offense there.
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE (OHL)
Kody Clark – RW – Drafted second–round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 19–years old
Clark registered his first goals with the Ottawa 67’s on October 6 against the Barre Colts, and finished the game with two goals (here). The following game he was promoted to the second-line (LW), where he remained for a majority of the month of October. His goals were near the endpoints of the month, as he scored two goals in the team’s second game of the month, on October 6 against the Barrie Colts, added another goal in their next game the next day against the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds, but didn’t score again until his most recent game in Sudbury on October 28. However, his goal against Sudbury was a game-winner (Here). He also contributed an assist in the game of October 28. For the season, Clark has played in 16 games, has four goals and two assists. Prior to scoring his game-winning goal, the coaching staff saw signs that he was about to break out. His junior team’s equipment manager felt he had his best practices last week. Clark signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals on October 22. (here).
EAST COAST HOCKEY LEAGUE (ECHL)
Parker Milner – G – Undrafted – 28-years old
Parker Milner was released from Capitals training camp on September 22, and reported to Hershey. He was later re-assigned to South Carolina to start the season, but was recalled by the Bears on October 18 (here) for two days to provide a backup roll while Ilya Samsonov was dealing with a minor injury. Milner finished the month of October with a 3-2-0 record, a 3.85 goals-against and a .880 save percentage. Milner was re-called by Hershey on October 31 to back up Samsonov after it was reported that Vitek Vanecek was dealing with an injury.
Adam Morrison – G – Drafted third-round, 2009 NHL Entry Draft (Philadelphia Flyers) – 27-years old
Adam Morrison was released from Capitals training camp on September 22, and reported to Hershey. He would later be re-assigned to South Carolina on October 2. Morrison finished the month of October going 1-2-0 with a 3.03 goals-against and a .890 save percentage.
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHELTIC ASSOCIATION (NCAA)
Chase Priskie – D – Drafted Sixth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Priskie started his senior season right where he left off at the end of his junior campaign. The 5’11” defenseman registered four goals and two assists in the first five games of the season, including two team-leading power play goals and two team-leading game-winning goals, including the game-winner against Boston College. Priskie registered 17 shots on goal (second-most on the team) for a 23.5 shooting percentage in the month of October. He was a plus-9 and blocked five shots in the Bobcats’ perfect 5-0 month of October. Priskie remains unsigned by the Capitals and could become a free agent this summer if the Capitals do not sign him by the signing deadline at the end of the season.
Benton Maass – D – Drafted Sixth-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
The 6’,2” sophomore has already settled into a leadership role with the Bobcats. Maass started the season on the top defensive-pair with Anthony Wyse and led the team in blocked shots. Maass had one goal on nine shots in five games in October. The one goal he scored was an overtime game-winner for New Hampshire’s only win of the season so far. The Wildcats, under new head coach Mike Souza, went 1-3-1 in the month of October. All of New Hampshire’s games have been decided by one goal.
EUROPEAN HOCKEY LEAGUES (SHL/NLA)
Martin Fehervary – D – Drafted second-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Fehervary was released from Capitals training camp on September 19, and was in the lineup for HV71 for the first time on September 20, missing just one game of HV71’s season. Martin was slated as the sixth/seventh defenseman for the start of the season. Fehervary played in 12 of 13 games for HV71 registering two assists. Martin is currently fourth on the team in blocked shots and eighth on the team in hits. Fehervary signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals on July 1. (here). The Capitals selected Fehervary with the 46th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. (here).
Sebastian Walffridsson – D – Drafted fifth-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Offensively, Walfridsson has just one assist for MODO Super Elite team in the Allsvenskan league.
Damien Riat – W/C – Drafted fourth–round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 21–years old
So far this season, Riat registered five goals and five assists in 16 games for EHC Biel-Bienne of the Swiss League. As you may recall, Riat surprised many by signing a two-year deal with EHC Biel-Bienne of the Swiss League back in February (here). Rumor had it that their was an out clause if the Capitals extended him an offer by July, which didn’t happen. (More here) Riat did not attend development camp or Capitals training camp this year. It’s unclear as to the future track for Riat, whether he wasn’t invited to participate in development and training camp, or told the camps he would be attending. Riat will be almost 24 if/when he enters the Capitals system in the states, and would need at least a year in Hershey, putting him at 25-years old before even considering playing for the Capitals. Time in the NHL is running out for Riat. Riat remains unsigned by the Capitals. Our interview with Riat is here.
TOP FIVE RANKINGS
A new feature to our monthly prospect reports attempts to pull all of the monthly information together and provide a Top 5 ranking of prospects for forwards, defensemen and goalies. It’s important to keep in mind that the rankings reflect current “readiness” for an NHL call-up, and does not reflect future potential, etc. The ranking may also include players that are not officially under contract with the Capitals at the date of this report.
For more information on Capitals prospects, please visit our “prospects” page in the main menu.
By Jon Sorensen, Eric Lord, Diane Doyle, Mick Yugo