Washington Capitals Prospect Report – November, 2018

Welcome to the second installment of NoVa Caps’ monthly prospect reports for the 2018-2019 Washington Capitals. This report summarizes activities for each Capitals’ prospect for the month of November, 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 read October’s report here

You can always check out all of our prospect analysis and reports under the “Prospects” tab in the main menu (above). You can also follow #CapsProspects hashtag stream on Twitter for the latest Capitals prospect news.


REPORT ORGANIZATION
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 November and finalized on, or just prior to November 30, 2018.


AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE (BEARS)
The Hershey Bears started the month of November where they left off in October, beating one of the AHL’s best teams, the Rochester Americans, on their own ice. After starting the season 0-5-0-0, the Bears went 8-4-0-1 to finish the first quarter of the season at 8-9-0-1. (Quarter Report here.) The Bears’ goaltending situation was in flux for a majority of the month. After Ilya Samsonov returned from a minor injury, Vitek Vanecek was sidelined with a minor injury. Parker Milner was recalled from South Carolina and did a pretty good job filling in. Samsonov was recalled by Washington in the middle of the month, and with Vanecek sidelined, Milner was required to start several games and did well. The Bears ended the month on a bit of a down turn, with a 9-11-0-1 record for the season.

Ilya Samsonov – G – Drafted first-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
Samsonov’s month of November was a month of inconsistencies. He began November with an impressive win over the Americans in Rochester, stopping 34 of 36 shots in the 4-2 Bears win. The following night was less impressive, as he stopped 30 of 34 in a 4-1 loss against the Americans in Hershey. In his following start, Samsonov would shine in a 3-2 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds, in which he stopped 31 of 33 shots (here). The up and down month would continue in his following start, in which he gave up seven goals against the Syracuse Crunch on November 11. Samsonov was recalled by Washington on November 16, to back up Pheonix Copley, after Braden Holtby sustained an upper-body injury. (Vanecek was injured, leaving Samsonov the only real choice for the recall.) Samsonov was re-assigned to the Bears on November 19 (here). Samsonov would start his next game against the Phantoms on November 23 and give up six goals. He would start the final game of November against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and would give up three goals on 29 shots faced. Samsonov is 3-7-0, with a 3.88 GAA and a .869 save percentage in 10 games played so far this season. Samsonov needs consistent playing time in the month of December. However, with Vanecek’s excellent play as of late, it will be a challenge.

Trending: Same

Vitek Vanecek – G – Drafted second-round, 2014 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Vanecek has played just one game in the month of November after suffering an upper-body injury in a 3-1 win over Lehigh Valley on October 28. He finished that game with 34 saves and a win, but wouldn’t dress for a game until November 16. He backed up Parker Milner that day and on November 17. He returned to the net on November 24 and picked up right where he left off prior to his injury. He made 25 saves and backstopped the Bears to a 3-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 13 of those saves came in the third period. Vanecek currently ranks seventh in the AHL with a 2.36 goals-against average and also sits with a .919 save percentage. The Czech goalie has been one of Hershey’s top players in the first quarter of the season.

Trending: Up

Tyler Lewington – D – Drafted seventh-round, 2013 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
November was not a good month for Lewington. After finishing October with a minus-1 rating, he is minus-9 in 10 games in November. Granted, that number is not all on him. He has seen a revolving door of defense partners. He has partnered with just about every left-handed defenseman Hershey has. It has been hard for him to develop any kind of chemistry with his partner. It would benefit him to have a steady partner for a period of time. Still, Lewington’s play can be better. His game has taken a dip in all areas and that is something he can correct, no matter who his partner is. He turned the puck over at the blueline against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on November 28 and it led to a breakaway goal for Thomas DiPauli in the first period. Lewington needs to get back to playing his steady defensive game. That will benefit him and his team.

Trending: Down

Kris BindulisDUndrafted23years old
Bindulis had played in just one game prior to the month of November, and might have been looking at a re-assignment to South Carolina, but then a rash of blueline injuries struck the Bears’ blueline. He has played in four games so far this season, including the last two games in the month of November. Unfortunately Bindulis was injured in the final game of the month against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. According to Zack Fisch, “No official word yet, but sounds like Kris Bindulis’ injury (upper body) likely more of a long-term injury. Bears could potentially look to make addition prior to this weekend on backend.”

Trending: Same

Lucas Johansen – D – Drafted first-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
Johansen continues to suffer through a bit of a sophomore slump. His defensive game has left him. He played his best defensive hockey down the stretch last season, but has failed to build on that progress. Johansen is a team worst minus-13. His decision-making has been poor. He has tried to force passes out of the zone. He has got caught running around in his own zone and has been out of position as a result. His even-strength play has not been good. He does have nine points, which puts him on pace to top his 27 points from last season. However, only two of those points are at even-strength, more proof that he has not been good enough 5-on-5. Johansen is a gifted player with a lot of talent. He needs to be smarter and get back to playing the way he was at the end of last season.

Trending: Down

Connor Hobbs – D – Drafted fifth-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
Hobbs has continued to show marked improvement from his rookie campaign. He is far and away Hershey’s most improved player. He is steady in his own zone and makes good decisions with the puck, something he did not do last season. He does not wander from his defensive position like he did last year. He has become one of the team’s most reliable penalty killers on the blueline. He is a minus-1 on the season, which is one of the top ratings on the team. He, along with Aaron Ness, have been Hershey’s two most reliable defensemen. Offensively, Hobbs has six assists this month and leads the Bears with 11 helpers. He is third on the team in scoring with 12 points, four less than the 16 points he finished with last season. The Regina, Saskatchewan native is on pace to obliterate that total.  

Trending: Up

Colby Williams – D – Drafted sixth-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
Williams again has been beset with injuries. He has missed the last three games due to an injury and has now missed 10 games on the season. He was off to a promising start with three assists and a plus-2 rating in October. He has one assist and is a minus-5 this month. Williams cannot seem to get into a groove. He starts to play well and then gets hit by another injury. The biggest key for him right now is to get healthy. Until he does that, his game is going to be inconsistent.

Trending: Down

Aaron Ness – D – Drafted second-round, 2008 NHL Entry Draft (New York Islanders) – 28-years old
Ness was recalled by the Capitals, (along with Jonas Siegenthaler) on November 9 to fill in for Brooks Orpik and John Carlson, who were dealing with minor injuries. Ness didn’t see any game action while in D.C., and was returned to the Bears on November 12. Ness has continued to be a steadying force for the Bears’ blueline. He is still a potential call-up should the need arise in Washington, but his overarching value is mentoring the youth on the blueline. Ness has a goal and an assist in six games played for Hershey in November. He has a goal and five assists in 17 games played this season. He is a minus-1 overall on the season.

Trending: Same

Tobias GeisserDDrafted fourthround, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19years old
Bears Head Coach Spencer Carbery stated in a pregame interview on November 10 that Geisser is “very wise beyond his years with processing coaching directions, reads on the ice, a quick learner.” Geisser returned from an injury he sustained last month to play in nine games in the month of November. The current injuries to blue line make this a prime time for Geisser to make a statement. The 6’-5’ Defenseman has played in 11 games so far this season, and has yet to make the scoresheet.

Trending: Same

Jonas Siegenthaler – D – Drafted second-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
Siegenthaler has played in only three games for the Bears in November. He recorded no points in those three games. He then was recalled by the Caps, one that was based more on his training camp play than his play in Hershey. The Swiss defenseman has seen action in three games with the Capitals, producing no points and only one shot. He saw only 12:13 of ice time in his debut on November 9. Siegenthaler has not taken a single penalty in three games with Washington after taking some bad penalties in Hershey. He has seemingly played better with the Capitals than he did in Hershey this season. It will be interesting to see how Siegenthaler handles it if he is sent back to the Bears. He did not handle it well after being sent down to start the season and it contributed to Hershey’s slow start.

Trending: Same

Shane Gersich – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2014 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Gersich’s offensive numbers in November are identical to his numbers from October. He posted one goal and four assists in October and has one goal and four assists again this month. While there’s a consistency there, the Bears need more goals from him (and a lot of other players). He has warmed up a little in his last five games, scoring a goal and adding three assists in that time. Both of the Chaska, Minnesota native’s goals have come on the power play and half of his eight assists have come on the man-advantage. He needs to score more at even strength and he needs to convert more of his shots. He has taken 46 shots, the third-most on the team, but only has two goals. A 4.3 shooting percentage is not very good. Gersich has been a plus player in three of his last five games after being a minus-7 on the season prior to that stretch.

Trending: Same

Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
Jonsson-Fjallby opened the month of November with a dazzling score against Rochester on November 2 (here). During the game broadcast, Bears announcer Zack Fisch noted that there is still a possibility that Jonsson-Fjallby still returns to Sweden, and that he was a bit homesick. In the end the rumors about Jonsson-Fjällby returning to Djurgården happened to be true. After putting up three points in 16 games with the Hershey Bears, the Swedish winger used his out-clause in his contract to go on loan to his former club over the 2018-19 season. Jonsson-Fjällby is a fan favorite in Djurgården and made many fans happy with his arrival.The Stockholm-native has played four games and has put up two assists, averaging 14:54 minutes per game. The points aside, he still gives a lot to the team with his work ethic and speed all over the ice. He is playing on a line alongside fellow NHL prospects, and also brothers, Marcus and Jonathan Davidsson. Together they have previously shown good chemistry and they all bring different elements to the game, where Jonsson-Fjällby acts as a power forward. Djurgården has been a force this year and are contenders for lifting the Le Mat Trophy as winners of SHL this season. Being amongst a winning team instead of the struggling Hershey Bears may be the best for Jonsson-Fjällby in the end.

Trending: Down

Beck Malenstyn – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
Malenstyn still has not hit his stride offensively. He finally netted his second goal of the season on November 24 at Lehigh Valley. It was his first goal and point since October 27. The Bears need more from him offensively and he has the ability to do so. He has been a scorer in juniors. Despite his lack of offensive production thus far, Malenstyn has become a big contributor to the team in a different area. He has turned into one of the Bears’ best penalty killers. He puts his body on the line to block shots in shorthanded situations and gets his stick in the shooting lanes. He works hard on the penalty kill unit. He has earned the trust of the coaching staff as a penalty killer. When Cleveland had a lengthy 5-on-3 power play in the second period on November 16, Malenstyn was the lone forward out to start to penalty kill. That speaks volumes about the faith the staff has in his penalty killing abilities.

Trending: Up

Riley Barber – RW – Drafted sixth-round, 2012 NHL Entry Draft – 24-years old
Barber has been on fire for the Bears in November. He has tallied five goals in the month and has also added four assists. He is tied with Mike Sgarbossa for the team scoring lead with 14 points.He is tied for second on the team with seven goals. He also leads the team in power play goals with four. Barber also is one of the team’s top penalty killers. He gets a lot of time on the penalty kill unit and has been successful in that role. His discipline has helped him see time on the penalty kill, as he has only committed one minor penalty this month. He also deserves credit for helping lead a young forward group. The one area where Barber can improve, and this can be said for almost the entire Hershey team, is at even-strength. Barber has nine points this month, but is a minus-7 in November.

Trending: Up

Liam O’Brien – LW – Undrafted 24-years old
O’Brien has cooled off after a hot start to the season. He has one goal in November and has not tallied since November 2. He is mired in a nine-game goalless drought. His only other points for the month are two assists in a 6-1 Hershey win over Cleveland on November 16. He is scoreless in the other eight games he has played this month. The Bears need more consistency out of O’Brien. The team has relied heavily on the trio of Mike Sgarbossa, Riley Barber and O’Brien. Those three have accounted for nearly half of Hershey’s goals on a team that has struggled to find secondary goal scoring. When one of those three slows down, it hurts the team’s offensive production. O’Brien needs to get back to the way he was playing in October. Defensively, he has continued to be a contributor on the penalty, but has struggled at even-strength, posting a minus-5 rating for the month.

Trending: Down

Hampus Gustafsson – C/LW – Undrafted – 25-years old.
Gustafsson remains an occasional starter for the Bears. He played in just three games in the month of November, and 10 games so far this season. The 6’-4” center has no goals and one assist in the 10 games played. Gustafsson, making $883,750 this season, is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Trending: Down

Garrett Pilon – C – Drafted third round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
Pilon has yet to pot his first professional goal. Like most of his fellow rookies, he has struggled to find the back of the net. He has four assists in November, which matches his total for October. Those four assists all came in a three-game period from November 10 to November 16. The pivot’s play in his own zone has been trending in the wrong direction. He is minus-6 in his last three games and minus-8 for the month. He was even after October. Pilon has not been a plus player in any of his games in November. He posted a plus in four games in October. His offensive struggles are affecting his entire game. Pilon needs to focus on the little things and start playing well in his own end. Then, he can build on that and turn up his offense.

Trending: Down

Max KammererLWUndrafted22years old
Kammerer is in a very similar boat to Ikonen: they both are coming from European leagues and need to learn how to play in North America. But at the same time they are either getting healthy scratched or when they do play, are on the bottom two lines. In just three games in November, Kammerer brought his point total to four with 11 games. Hopefully, this is just a learning process with the two of them and their ice time increases along with their offensive output.

Trending: Same

Sergei ShumakovRWFree Agent (KHL) – 26years old
Shumoakov remained sidelined with a wrist/arm injury for most of October. He returned to action on November 23 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and scored a fluky goal the following night against the Penguins in Wilkes-Barre (here). Shumakov might be the most exciting forward prospect the Capitals have had since Evgeny Kusznetsov. After the Russian forward was one of the best in the KHL last season, many were expecting him to come over and instantly tear it up. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury after just four games, during which he posted two goals. This past weekend was his first game action back and he scored a goal and a nice assist in four games. The worst part about all of this is with the Capitals’ Tom Wilson missing 16 games and now forward Oshie missing the last six games and most likely even more, this would have been a perfect time to bring Shumakov up to the NHL to see what he could do. But the injury really pushed him back as he needs to get in shape and still adapt to North American ice. Hopefully we see him in red sooner rather than later.

Trending: Same

Mathias Bau – LW/RW – Undrafted – 25-years old
Bau remains on the injured list, and has yet to play a game for the Bears this season. He has spent the season so far at home in Denmark.

Trending: Down

Mason MitchellLWUndrafted24years old
Mitchell made his first start of the season in a 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Monsters on November 17 and made several nice hits early in the game. Mitchell has played in every game since his season debut, but has yet to find the score sheet in the four games played. He has primarily held down the left wing position on the fourth-line with Brian Pinho and Beck Malenstyn.

Trending: Same

Brian Pinho – C Drafted sixth-round, 2013 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
After a rough start defensively in October, Pinho has settled down and has played better in his own end. He has looked more like the player who was the named the top collegiate defensive forward in New England last season. He was a minus-7 in October, but is a minus-1 for this month (was even until being a minus-1 in the final game of the month). Pinho has continued to struggle offensively. He has one assist in the month and is still stuck on one goal for the season. He has not scored a goal in 14 games. One constant for Pinho is his effort. He plays hard every night out and has appeared in every game for Hershey. The Providence College grad also sees time on the penalty kill.

Trending: Same

Juuso IkonenRW/LWUndrafted23years old
Coming from a European league right into the North America is hard enough, but then to miss the start of the season because of injury makes it even more difficult. After putting up one assist in his first four games, he followed up that in November with one goal and one assist in seven games. It isn’t all that impressive, but he’s spent just about all of his time on the fourth-line, which is a waste of his skill-set. He has also missed the last couple games, whether due to injury or being a scratch it is still not known. If he is put into the top-six at some point, he will be able to show his speed and great hands.

Trending: Same

Mike Sgarbossa – C – Undrafted – 26-years old
Sgarbossa was one of two veteran forwards signed by Washington for Hershey in the off-season and he has not disappointed. He has probably been the Bears best player thus far. He plays in all situations. He is on the first power play unit and kills penalties. Sgarbossa netted five goals in November and chipped in with three assists. He is tied for the team lead with 14 points (with Riley Barber). He leads Hershey with nine even-strength points. The pivot is on pace to top his career high in goals (19 with Lake Erie in 2012-13). Sgarbossa is one of the leaders on the team, serving as one of the alternate captains, and has set a good example for the rookie forwards to follow.

Trending: Up

Jayson Megna – C – Undrafted – 28-years old
Megna ended the month of November on a hot streak, scoring goals in the last three games of the month. Megna finished the month of November with five goals and one assist in 10 games played. He now has six goals and one assist in 17 games played so far this season. At 28, Megna is hardly considered a “prospect” in the purest form of the word, but could be looked to for a possible call-up in the coming months, to fill-in for an injury situation.

Trending: Up


WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE (WHL)

Alexander Alexeyev – D – Drafted first-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18-years old
On November 2, the CHL and the Russian Hockey Federation announced that Alexeyev was selected for the Team Russia roster for the upcoming Canada-Russia series to take place between November 5 through November 15 (more here). Offensively, Alexeyev’s scoring cooled off significantly in November, with no goals and eight assists for the month.  However, he continues to shoot the puck, finishing the month fourth on the team in shots on goal. Alexeyev now has seven goals and 21 assists in 23 games played so far this season. Defensively, Alexeyev continues to be a force for Red Deer. He finished the month of November as a plus-13, which is the second-best plus/minus on the team. Alexeyev was scratched from the Rebels lineup on November 27, as a result of an “upper-body injury” he sustained in a game against Medicine Hat on November 24. He is listed “day-to-day”. He was also scratched the following game on November 28 against Medicine Hat.

Trending: Same

Riley Sutter – C – Drafted third-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18-years old
Sutter continues to hold down the center position on the Silvertips’ top-line. He started off the month of November with a goal against Tri-Cities on November 2, but would cool down for the remainder of the month. Sutter registered three goals and nine assists in 12 games played in the month of November. He now has 10 goals (second most in the team) and 21 assists (most on the team) in 27 games played so far this season. He has four power play goals, which is second-most for Everett. Sutter has registered 90 shots on goal (third-most on the team) for a 11.1% shooting percentage on the season.

Trending: Same

Eric FlorchukCDrafted seventhround, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18years old
Florchuk is beginning to heat up.  Florchuk scored a pair of goals late in a game against the Tri-City Americans on November 17 (here). He was elevated from his usual second-line position to the top-line on November 29. Florchuk scored three goals and five assists in 11 games in November. He now has eight goals and 15 points in 27 games played this season.

Trending: Up

Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen – LW – Drafted seventh-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Martinsen started the month of November with a goal against Kootenay on 11/1 (here), his sixth of the season. Marthinsen potted an extra three goals and two assists in 11 games for the month of November. He started the season on the second-line where he put up most of his points but has unfortunately been on the third-line for weeks now. Even with the demotion, he is 10th in rookie scoring in the WHL, which is good news considering he is still trying to adapt to the North American game. To boot, he leads all rookie forwards in shots with 65 in 27 games. It’s a known fact Roykas-Marthinsen is a shooter from all of his seasons in every league he’s played because he always had more goals and assists. Nothing is different now as he has eight goals and five assists. His eight goals is second among all rookies.

Trending: Same

Alex KannockLeipertDDrafted sixthround, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18years old
Kannock-Leipert didn’t add much to his point total in November, adding just one point in 10 games. But it is important to remember he is one of the youngest players on the team yet is tasked with top-pairing duties. It’s going to be hard finding points when being so young but taking on the other team’s top players. The fact that he’s stayed on the top pair consistently means his coach trusts him, which is a great sign. Once he becomes comfortable in his defensive game then he’ll probably turn on his offensive game.

Trending: Same


ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE (OHL)

Kody ClarkRWDrafted secondround, 2018 NHL Entry Draft19years old
Clark was moved to left wing on the second-line at the beginning of November, but returned to the right wing by mid-month. Offensively, Clark had a very productive month of November, scoring six goals and contributing 10 assists for 16 points overall in 12 games.  He has been especially productive in recent games, scoring five goals in the last five games and six goals in the last seven. His assists have been spaced out more evenly throughout the month.  He has recorded at least one point in nine of the 12 games he’s played this month.  He had one goal and two assists twice this month, once against the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds on November 16 and once against the North Bay Battalion on November 18.  His goal in the former was an insurance goal while his goal in the latter was the game-winner. He scored two goals against the Sarnia Sting on November 24.  His game against the Kingston Frontenacs on November 28 was especially eventful, as he recorded a goal, an assist, a fight, and three minor penalties (essentially he had a Gordie Howe hat trick, along with three other penalties). For the season through November, Clark has played in 28 games, has 10 goals and 12 assists.  He is in a three-way tie for third in goals for the team, seventh on the team in assists, and sixth on the team in total points.  His shooting percentage is 12.8%.

Trending: Same


EAST COAST HOCKEY LEAGUE (ECHL)

Parker Milner G – Undrafted – 28-years old
Milner had a very busy but very productive month of November. He was recalled by the Bears on on 10/31 (here) due to an injury to Vitek Vanecek. In his first game against Hartford on November 4, he stopped 32 of 33 shots he faced (more here). In his next game against the Cleveland Monsters he stopped 30 of 31 shots he faced. He played in three games for the Bears and did very well, going 2-1-0 with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. Milner was re-assigned to the South Carolina Stingrays on November 20. Milner is 5-4-0 with a 3.26 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage in nine games played with the South Carolina Stingrays this season.

Trending: Up

Adam MorrisonG – Drafted third-round, 2009 NHL Entry Draft (Philadelphia Flyers) – 27-years old

Morrison is 4-4-0 in nine games played with a 2.85 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage so far this season for East Carolina.

Trending: Same


NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHELTIC ASSOCIATION (NCAA)

Chase Priskie – D – Drafted Sixth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Priskie was selected as one of 15 candidates in NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey for the 2018-19 Senior CLASS Award. He is one of 15 NCAA men’s ice hockey student-athletes selected as candidates for the award, which honors student-athletes who excel both on and off the ice. (here.) On the ice, Priskie began the month with a goal against Harvard on 11/2 (here). The following night against Dartmouth, he scored a goal for a fifth straight game (here). Priskie’s goal was the 28th of his career, tying Dan Ennis (Class of 2003) for the most career goals by a defenseman in Division I program history. (more here). Priskie became Quinnipiac’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen with 29 goals against Rensselaer on November 9. (more here). Offensively, Priskie has nine goals and eight assists in 14 games played so far this season.

Trending: Up

Benton Maass – D – Drafted Sixth-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
In the 11 games Maass has played so far in his sophomore season, he has been UNH’s starting right defenseman with junior Anthony Wyse (free agent) on left defense. Coach Mike Souza has commented that Maass has logged an unusually large number of minutes. In addition to 5-on-5 play, Maass is on UNH’s first penalty kill unit and second power play unit. Although Maass has a plus/minus rating of minus–4, he is considered by many the best defender on the team. He has blocked 20 shots (fourth-highest among all Hockey East defensemen) and been penalized only once, a two-minute minor. Maass was injured with just 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime in the November 23 game against Miami (here). In the press conference after the game on Saturday night, which UNH won 4-1 over 19th-ranked Miami, Souza said: “It’s safe to say that we’re going to be without Benton for a little bit with an upper-body injury.” In a press conference on Wednesday, November 28, Souza said “We’re going to be without Benton for sure until Christmas, at the earliest.  So through the next four games (i.e., home-and-home against Providence this weekend and another one against Dartmouth December 7-8) I don’t think you’ll see him.”

Trending: Same


EUROPEAN HOCKEY LEAGUES (SHL/NLA)

Martin Fehervary – D – Drafted second-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Fehervary has taken a solid spot in the lineup for HV71, at times keeping veteran players in the press box. In his last outing against Malmö on the November 24, the Slovakian international scored his first-ever SHL-goal with a dazzling wrist shot through traffic. In total Fehervary has three points in 19 games, during which he plays on average 14:59 minutes per game. He has shown good physical attributes both defensively, where he doesn’t take any prisoners and isn’t afraid to use the body, and on offense, where he moves the puck well and joins the rush at times. An interesting player who needs refining but is showing good potential as a modern defensive defenseman. HV71 has struggled this season after being projected contenders by several media outlets. Fehervary has been a welcome glimpse of light where many other players have underperformed.

Trending: Same

Sebastian Walffridsson – D – Drafted fifth-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Walfridsson has returned to the first team in MODO and plays regularly since then. In total the Swedish defenseman has produced one assist in eight games in the second-tier of Swedish hockey. He averages 13:22 minutes per game in a team with the ambition to reach promotion to the SHL. The start hasn’t been that compelling though and MODO currently resides in the middle of the standings. Hometown boy and NHL veteran Toby Enström returned to the team from the Winnipeg Jets before this season and could give Walfridsson some good advice on how to reach the NHL. Walfridsson was selected for the Swedish U20 national team in August, playing four games against Canada, the USA and Finland, scoring a goal and an assist. Since then he has been left out of two selections and its unlikely that he will play during the World Junior Championships this fall.

Trending: Same

Damien RiatW/CDrafted fourthround, 2016 NHL Entry Draft 21years old
For the month of November, Riat added a goal and an assist in six games. He has spent most of the season on the third-line, but was bumped up to the second-line two games ago, which means his coach likes what he sees from the 21-year old. His 12 points in 22 games leads all Under-22 players in the NLA by three. Currently he’s on pace to improve upon his season last year. Riat was named to the roster of Team Switzerland for the the annual Deutschland Cup.

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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.

Prospect Report by:

Jon Sorensen (WHL/AHL)
Eric Lord (AHL)
Jesper Svensson (Europe)
Mike Lowry (NCAA)
Diane Doyle (OHL)
Luke Adomanis (AHL/Europe)
Mic Yugo (Prospects Insider)

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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14 Responses to Washington Capitals Prospect Report – November, 2018

  1. Bob says:

    I think your analysis of the Bears players is pretty much on point, however I do take point with your assertion that Axel is better off going back to Sweden. Frankly, the Bears would probably be doing better if Axel had stayed. The kid was incredibly fast and needed to just hone his speed a little to take advantage of it, especially on breakaways. He had many chances to only blow past the goal. He clearly needed to adjust to the American rink size and, frankly, playing back in Sweden does nothing to help him do that. Yeah, it’s better to be on a “winning team” but does he want to develop into a North American hockey player or not? I was very disappointed to hear he left and think it was a short-sighted decision.

    O’Brien is loved in Hershey but the guy is frustrating in his inconsistency. Wednesday’s game against WB he was incredibly flat, barely getting physical in his play. I expected him to step up and be a leader on this team, and he’s not necessarily shown he can be that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed, O’Brien is loved by all, He started the season on such a hot streak, but cooled off in November. There was a point where I dealt he would have been the first call up, but November’s cooling ended that.

      Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    The goalie situation in Hershey is a bit of a tough one. Samsonov needs playing time/games, but Vanecek has clearly been the better netminder to date. Caps May be pushing Samsonov starts, when maybe that’s not the best move for the Bears.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bob says:

      Samsonov started the season strong and has really struggled the past few games. If Washington is insisting the Bears keep playing him, I’m not sure they’re doing him any favors. Seems like he’s lost his confidence. Last night it seemed like he had no idea where the puck even was on at least two of the goals scored against him. I keep hearing that Washington has really high hopes for him, but I’m not sure why they’re not seeing anything in Vitek. He’s well liked in Hershey and has done pretty well considering the terrible team he played with last year. Even Copley was made to look inept with last year’s team… Vitek has shown growth and he’s playing well. Samsonov definitely has potential and has had some great games, but not so much recently. He has a LOT of learning to do….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Clifford Keefe says:

    Juuso Ikonen is my dark horse. He’s tiny (5’8″ and perhaps 165 pounds) but so were Marcel Dionne, Theo Fleury and Yvan Cournoyer…

    Clifford
    Sta. Monica

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. 2 questions
    1) Do you think they’ll leave Samsonov to in the AHL for another season to develop more and give NHL to Vitek?
    2) What future do you see for Johansen? He seems to be struggling developing even though it is his 2nd season in the AHL. He and Hobbs came in at the same time and Hobbs has looked like he has a good shot at the NHL.

    Liked by 1 person

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