Welcome to the fifth installment of NoVa Caps’ monthly prospect reports for the 2018-2019 Washington Capitals. The report summarizes activities for each of the Capitals’ prospects for the month of February, 2019, and provides an overall monthly “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 previous monthly progress reports under the “Prospects” tab in the main menu (above). You can also follow the #CapsProspects hashtag 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 February and finalized on, or just prior to February 28, 2018.
AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE (HERSHEY BEARS)
The Hershey Bears spent the month of February doing one important thing, winning. The Bears rattled off wins in their first 10 games of the month to run their franchise record point-streak to 17 games. That streak, as well as an 11-game winning streak, came to an end in a 5-1 road loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on February 24. The Bears rebounded from that defeat to beat Hartford 4-1 on February 27. In the end, Hershey finished the month with an 11-1 record. The February success vaulted Hershey into third place in the Atlantic Division and a playoff spot.
During their run, the Bears were going well in all areas. The goaltending duo of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek continue to shine. Each won five games in the month and often made saves when there were breakdowns. The defense played with more structure and the defense pairings played well together for most of the month. Offensively, Riley Barber and Mike Sgarbossa continue to lead the way, but, unlike earlier in the season, the duo received help in the scoring department. It is not a coincidence that Hershey’s turnaround has come when the team has been getting more secondary scoring.
Ilya Samsonov – G – Drafted first-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
Samsonov continued his high level of play from January. He was a perfect 6-0-0-0 for the month of February and had a 1.47 Goals-Against Average for the month. He stopped 21 of 22 shots at home against Lehigh Valley in his first game of the month on February 2. He stopped 35 of 37 against the Thunderbirds in Springfield in February 6. (At this point, Samsonov and Vanecek were alternating games on a regular basis.) In his next start, Samsonov stopped 29 of 30 shots against the Charlotte Checkers at Giant Center on February 10. For his first three games of the month, he stopped 85 of 89 shots faced for an eye-popping .955 save percentage. Samsonov’s fourth start of the month came at home against Lehigh Valley on February 16, and once again, was strong, stopping 28 of 30 for a .933 game save percentage. His next start was on February 23 at home against Rockford, in which he stopped 21 of 23 shots for a .913 game save percentage. The win also extended the Bears’ winning streak to 11 games and extended the Bears’ points-streak to 17 games. In his final outing of the month in Hartford, Samsonov stopped 28 of 29 shots faced for a .966 game save percentage. For the month of February, Samsonov played in six games and gave up nine goals on 141 shots faced for a .940 save percentage. For the season, Samsonov is 15-11-1-2 with a 2.77 GAA and a .895 save percentage. There is a good chance Samsonov will be selected AHL Goaltender of the Month for February. After struggling at the start of the season, Samsonov looks much more comfortable in the crease, and has been solid in pre-positioning for shots. His athleticism has also been on full display as of late, particularly during recent shootout games in which he seemed to make all the stops with relative ease. He still makes the occasional overreaction, but even that has quieted down tremendously. The question at this point is whether Samsonov will spend another full season in Hershey, or whether the Capitals need to start thinking about working him into the mix at the NHL.
Vitek Vanecek – G – Drafted second-round, 2014 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Vanecek went 5-1 in February to bring his season win total to 15. He is three wins shy of tying his career-high of 18, set in his rookie season in 2016-17. He had a seven-game winning streak snapped at Bridgeport on February 24. On February 9 against Charlotte, the Czech goalie single-handily kept the Bears in the game. He stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced, as Hershey was outshot 16-4 in the frame. The Bears tied it late and then won it in a shootout after Vanecek stopped all five attempts by Charlotte. He made 33 saves in his next start on February 13 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. None were bigger than his save on Adam Johnson’s penalty shot with the Bears trailing 3-2 halfway through the third period. He kept it a one-goal game and the Bears tied it on Jayson Megna’s power play 1:39 later (Hershey would win in a shootout).
Tyler Lewington – D – Drafted seventh-round, 2013 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
The rugged defenseman was a plus-5 for February and teamed with Aaron Ness to form Hershey’s top defense-pairing. The pair draw the opposition’s top offensive players every game. Lewington sees a lot of time on the penalty kill, usually joining Ness as the first pairing over the boards to kill a penalty. The stay-at-home blueliner kicked in some offense in the month. Lewington scored his third goal of the season against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on February 13, one off his career-high in that statistic. He also added three assists, including one on Jonas Siegenthaler’s game-winning goal at Hartford on February 27. The Edmonton, Alberta native has equaled his point total from last season with 11.
Kris Bindulis – D – Undrafted – 23–years old
Bindulis remains sidelined (inactive) with an injury. He has not played since November 28. His return is still a ways off. Bindulis, who is making $792,500 this season, will become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
Lucas Johansen – D – Drafted first-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
Johansen finally returned to action on February 6 after being out with an injury since late November. The second-year defenseman has steadied his play. At the time of his injury, Johansen was a minus-13 and struggling defensively. Since his return, he is a plus-4 in 10 games and has not been a minus player in any of those games. He has been seeing third defensive-pairing minutes and that has taken the pressure off Johansen. It has allowed him to find himself defensively. Offensively, he only has one assist. However, the Bears need steady defensive play from him more at this point than they do his offense. The production of blueliners Aaron Ness and Ryan Sproul make Johansen’s offensive contributions less important.
Connor Hobbs – D – Drafted fifth-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
Hobbs seemed to be going along well, but the coaching staff saw something they did not like in the second-year defenseman’s play. He has been a healthy scratch in three of the last six games.Every player goes through a little dip at some point of the season and while not a big drop off, the defenseman’s play has sagged a little. His production fell off to two assists in February. With the team suddenly having depth and options on the blueline, Hobbs has to play solidly on both ends of the ice to stay in the lineup. Still, the native of Regina, Saskatchewan has been much improved from last season and should see consistent playing time as long as he gets back to the way he has been playing for most of the season.
Colby Williams – D – Drafted sixth-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
Williams played in his first game since January 6 in Hershey’s 5-1 loss at Bridgeport on February 24. He was a minus-1 with two penalty minutes and a shot in that game. He was a healthy scratch in the next game. The third-year defenseman has only played in 27 games this season and is a team-worst minus-14. Williams could find it difficult to get steady playing time down the stretch with the Bears’ depth on the blueline. That is a tough situation for a player who has struggled to find his game since a solid rookie campaign.
Aaron Ness – D – Drafted second-round, 2008 NHL Entry Draft (New York Islanders) – 28-years old
Ness is the top defenseman on the Bears. He failed to score a goal in February, but dished out nine assists to run his team-leading total to 36. He also tops Hershey in power play assists with 19. The Roseau, Minnesota native is second in the AHL among defensemen in assists with his 36 helpers, trailing Toronto’s Calle Rosen who has 37. Ness has 39 points on the season and that is the sixth-most among AHL defensemen. Defensively, the veteran blueliner anchors the left side of the team’s top defense pairing with Tyler Lewington on the right side. The duo gives the team a quality pair to go head-to-head with the other team’s top-line. Ness leads the Bears with a plus-8 rating. He plays in all situations and has been a key cog in Hershey’s turnaround.
Tobias Geisser – D – Drafted fourth–round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 20–years old
Geisser, in some ways, is a victim of the depth of blueliners in the Capitals’ system, as he is fighting for playing time in Hershey. He saw action in just six of the Bears’ 12 games in February, and 32 of the Bears’ 56 games played. And this may only get worse next fall, when Alexander Alexeyev and (possibly) Chase Priskie join the fold. Geisser shows promise and has received glowing review from Bears Head Coach Spencer Carbery, noting that Geisser has been extremely quick in picking up the North American game, and shows a high-level understanding of the play on the ice. The 6’4” defenseman is young, and shows significant potential. His time to make a move is now. March and April will be extremely important for Geisser to make a showing in the games he does play in. Geisser, who just turned 20 in February, needs playing time, which may be more available elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how the Capitals set up the blueline in Hershey next fall, and if they decide to relocate certain players. Geisser was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract on 3/22/2018. with a cap hit of $867,000 AAV.
Jonas Siegenthaler – D – Drafted second-round, 2015 NHL Entry Draft – 21-years old
Siegenthaler’s play continues to be downright baffling. He looks motivated, confident and comfortable when playing for the Washington Capitals. In Hershey, he looks disinterested and lost. His attitude needs to be better, as Siegenthaler has spent a lot of time in the penalty box since returning to the Bears. He has 24 penalty minutes in nine games. Several of his penalties have cost his team. In a February 13 game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Siegenthaler took two penalties, one of which came behind the play. The Penguins converted on the first power play. Another example came in a February 23 game against Rockford. Siegenthaler wandered too far to the middle of the ice and then got caught flat-footed. He was forced to take a holding penalty just 33 seconds into the game. Rockford scored on the power play. Siegenthaler’s decision-making has also been poor. For example, against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on February 13, the Swiss defender lunged for a puck at the blueline that he had little chance of getting to. The Penguins went by him and scored a goal to put the Bears behind in the third period. Siegenthaler also often wanders out of position. He does not stay in his lane and this often leaves a side open. His best game since his re-assignment came in the last game of the month. He scored the game-winning goal in the third period and finished as a plus-3 in a 4-1 win in Hartford. That is the kind of play Hershey needs from him on a consistent basis.
Shane Gersich – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2014 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Gersich’s offense remains a work in progress, but the rookie winger brings an element of speed to Hershey. He may be the fastest skater on the team. The University of North Dakota product is a threat to score on a breakaway on every shift. He just needs to be a little more accurate with his shot. He potted one goal and assisted on three others in February. That is an increase of one point from his production in January. He played on the top-line with Barber and Sgarbossa in the last game of the month. If he remains on that line, he will have plenty of chances to put up points.
Beck Malenstyn – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
Beck “The Check” has become a fan favorite with his physical style of play. The Delta, British Columbia native is one of the team’s best hitters. The rookie winger found his offensive game in February. He potted two goals and chipped in with four assists in the month after having eight points coming in. Malenstyn continues to be Hershey’s best penalty killer and shot blocker. He often sacrifices his body by getting in the shooting lanes. His even-strength play has gotten better as the season has gone along. He was a plus-4 in February to bring his season plus/minus rating to even. He was a minus-7 heading into the new year.
Riley Barber – RW – Drafted sixth-round, 2012 NHL Entry Draft – 24-years old
After being named the AHL Player of the Month in January, Barber picked up right where he left off in February. He netted eight goals in the month and also had three assists. He sits on top of the team scoring list with 49 points. He leads the team in goals with 26 and in power play points with 28. He also has the team lead in power play goals with 12. Barber’s 23 assists are third-most on the Bears. February is the fourth straight month that Barber has scored nine or more points. He scored the game-winning goal at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on February 22 with just under four minutes remaining, his team-leading sixth game-winner of the season. He then added an empty-netter for Hershey’s first hat trick of the season.
Liam O’Brien – LW – Undrafted – 24-years old
O’Brien got off to a fast start in February, recording a goal and two assists in his first three games in the month. He was unable to keep that start going. He was then scoreless in his next five games before picking up two assists in a win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on February 22. He then closed out the month with three scoreless games. Since scoring two goals on December 8, O’Brien has netted just three goals. He recently lost his spot on the top-line with Sgarbossa and Barber due to his inconsistency offensively. The Halifax, Nova Scotia does contribute in other ways. He sees a lot of time on the penalty kill and also brings a physical presence. He saved a goal against Rockford on February 23 when he back-checked on a Rockford player.
Nathan Walker – LW/RW – Drafted Third-Round, 2014 NHL Entry Draft – 24-years old
Walker continues to have a good showing back in Hershey, spending the month on the third-line with Garrett Pilon and Beck Malenstyn. He had three goals and three assists for the month of February, giving him 13 goals and 11 assists in just 40 games played with the Bears. He remains tied with Jayson Megna for fourth on the Bears in goals scored, and sixth on the team in total points, even though he’s played in 12-16 less games than those players with more scoring. Walker is always a potential call-up for the Caps, but will always have to clear waivers, which makes it difficult. Walker is making $650,000 this season, and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.
Hampus Gustafsson – C/LW – Undrafted – 25-years old
Gustafsson spent the month of February quietly anchoring the fourth-line center position. He’s been a steadying centerman for the fourth-line, it’s just not showing up on the scoresheet. For the month of February, Gustafsson had no goals and just one assist in 11 games played. For the season, Gustafsson has no goals and just three assists in 40 games played. Gustafsson will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and is making $883,750 this season.
Garrett Pilon – C – Drafted third-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
After a slow start to his professional career, Pilon has come on strong since the calendar flipped to 2019. He has 12 points in 2019 after amassing 11 in the first three months of the season. He netted two goals and added three assists in February. More importantly, Pilon has improved his game defensively. Earlier in the season, he did not see a lot of ice time because this area was lacking and his back-checking skills left a lot to be desired. This has changed. In a game on February 13 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pilon hustled back into the defensive zone and prevented a goal. The play shows the improvement the rookie pivot has made in his own end. He was a plus-4 in February to make him a plus-7 in 2019. He was a minus-14 during the first three months of the season. The improved play in his own end has led to Pilon getting more ice time.
Max Kammerer – LW – Undrafted – 22–years old
Kammerer played no games in February, and has been scratched since January 23. For the season, he has one goal and eight assists in 25 games played. Kammerer signed a three-year, entry-level contract last May for $870,000 AAV.
Mathias Bau – LW/RW – Undrafted – 25-years old
According to NBCSports Washington’s J.J. Regan, it looks like this season will be a complete wash for “The Giant Panda”. “He suffered an injury prior to the season that has kept him out of action and it appears the injury is serious enough that he will not be able to play at all. A Hershey team official confirmed to NBC Sports Washington that Bau has returned to his native Denmark to continue his recovery and remains out indefinitely. Though we could not get confirmation on the specific nature of the injury, the Danish National team announced in July that he had suffered some broken ribs and tear in his spleen. Bau is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Mason Mitchell – LW – Undrafted – 24–years old
Mitchell has not played a game since December 30 against Providence. For the season, Mitchell has no goals and one assist in 11 games played. Mitchell, making $883,750 this year, will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season.
Brian Pinho – C – Drafted sixth-round, 2013 NHL Entry Draft – 23-years old
The rookie out of Providence College sees time at both center and right wing. He had two assists in February to bring his season point total to nine. While his offensive game at the professional level is still developing, Pinho has played well in his own zone. He has shown why he was the top defensive forward in Hockey East last season. After being a minus-10 earlier in the season, the pivot has improved to a minus-3. He has only been a minus player in two of his last 23 games. Pinho has also started to see more time on the penalty kill.
Juuso Ikonen – RW/LW – Undrafted – 23–years old
Ikonen finally saw consistent playing time in February, playing in 11 games, mostly on the fourth-line at left wing. Unfortunately, he was rarely on the scoresheet, registering one goal and no assists for the month. Ikonen has four goals and eight assists in 44 games played with the Bears this season. Ikonen seems to be involved in the play, and has had scoring chances, they just haven’t been converted to goals. Ikonen has one more season with the Capitals under his current contract. He becomes a restricted free agent at the end of next season. He is currently making $925,000 AAV.
Mike Sgarbossa – C – Undrafted – 26-years old
Hershey’s top-line center, Sgarbossa is clearly the best Hershey offseason signing. The pivot has been a large part of Riley Barber’s success and the duo have been the top offensive players for the Bears all season long. He posted three goals and six assists in February. Sgarbossa is second on the team in scoring with 47 points, which is a career-high. The 23 goals he has tallied is also a career-high and is also second on Hershey. He trails only Barber in those two categories. He also sits only behind Barber in power play goals with 11 and power play points with 25. His 24 assists are the second-most on the team. The Campbellville,, Ontario native has improved his game in his own zone. After entering 2019 as a minus-11, he is a plus-5 the last two months.
Jayson Megna – C – Undrafted – 28-years old
Megna continued his impressive scoring spree against his former team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, as eight of his 13 goals so far this season have come against his former club. February was a better month for Megna, scoring four goals (two against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) and three assists in 12 games played, and has been a solid second-line center for the Bears. For the season, Megna has 13 goals (fourth on the Bears) and 14 assists (sixth on the Bears) in 52 games played for the Bears. Megna becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE (WHL)
Alexander Alexeyev – D – Drafted first-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18-years old
Alexeyev returned to the lineup on February 8 after being out of the lineup since January 19 with an “upper-body injury”. Reports from Red Deer stated that Alexeyev was seen around the Rebels Practice rink with his arm/shoulder in a sling, the same arm/shoulder that he injured last season. Reading the tea leaves, this sounds like a dislocated shoulder, and if so, may need to be followed in the future for additional re-occurrences. Alexeyev scored on February 15 against Seattle. It was his first WHL goal since 10/28/18 (25 games). He did have tallies in the World Junior Championship (here). Alexeyev finished the month of February with goals in each of his last two games. For the month, he had three goals and three assists in 11 games played. In the season, Alexeyev has 10 goals and 33 assists in 46 games played for a .93 points per game average, and is a plus-19. He has registered 124 shots on goal for a 8.1% shooting percentage. Alexeyev’s offensive numbers are up from last season with Red Deer. In 2017-2018, he registered seven goals and 30 assists in 45 games for a .82 points per game average, and was a minus-3. Alexeyev’s time in the WHL has likely come to an end and should be in Hershey this coming fall.
Riley Sutter – C – Drafted third-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18-years old
Sutter missed all of February. Sutter has been sidelined since sustaining a “lower-body injury” in the second period against Prince George on December 29. He was seen walking with crutches after the injury with a boot on his left foot. He has been listed as “week-to-week”. The latest update from local sources (last week) was that Sutter is still on crutches and “it will be a while, still”. Prior to his injury, Sutter had 14 goals and 27 assists in 38 games played. He had 125 shots for a 11.2% shooting percentage. Sutter signed a three-year, entry-level contract for an average annual value of $817,500 back on September 29, 2018.
Eric Florchuk – C – Drafted seventh–round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 19–years old
Florchuk opened the month continuing a five-game point streak, posting a point in a 3-1 win over the Saskatoon Blades on February 1. He posted three goals and six points over that stretch. After his streak ended the next game, the 19-year old responded with a two-goal outing in a 7-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings. He was held off of the scoresheet the next three games but posted three goals and five points in the two games after that. Florchuk potted a pair of goals and an assist against Kootenay on February 15, and was awarded the first star of the game. He ended the month recording assists in back-to-back games. Florchuk recorded at least one shot on goal in every game during the month of February. He posted a plus-7 rating but won only 47.5% of the draws he took over February. Florchuk earned only eight penalty minutes over the course of the month. Florchuk tallied his 100th career point with his first goal against Kootenay on February 15. He finished the month with five goals and five assists in 12 games played. He now has 20 goals and 25 assists in 61 games played so far this season. He has 151 shots on the year for a 13.2% shooting percentage.
Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen – LW – Drafted seventh-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Roykas-Marthinsen‘s scoring drought spilled into February, spanning over eight games in total. He was credited with only 15 shots and was a minus-1 in that span. Roykas-Marthinsen recorded assists in consecutive games after that. He was held off of the scoresheet four times in a span of five games, though he tallied two assists in that one game he was able to get a point. Roykas-Marthinsenfinally ended a 15-game goal-drought in a 4-3 shootout win over the Kootenay Ice on February 23. He posted 12 penalty minutes, 12 shots, and won the lone faceoff he took this past month. Roykas-Marthinsen was held without a shot on goal in mid-February.
Alex Kannock–Leipert – D – Drafted sixth–round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 18–years old
Kannock-Leipert was held off of the scoresheet in 10 of 12 games during the month of February and posted just two assists in that span. He stayed out of the penalty box in only five games, recording 24 penalty minutes in February, including nine penalty minutes in a 5-4 win over the Spokane Chiefs on February 15. He had a plus-3 rating over the course of the month. After not getting any shots on goal in the first two games of February, he recorded multiple shots on goal in four consecutive outings and had 15 shots on goal in total during the past month.
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE (OHL)
Kody Clark – RW – Drafted second–round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 19–years old
For the month of February, Clark played in nine games. He had goals in two of those games and also had four assists. In a game against the Hamilton Bulldogs on February 9, he had a goal and an assist, with the goal being the game-winning goal for the Ottawa 67’s. He was penalized for an illegal check to the head, a penalty that resulted in him being suspended for the game on February 13. He also scored a goal in the game of February 22 against the Kingston Frantenacs, a game the 67’s lost 3-2. Among players who had been with the team the entire season, he ranks tied for sixth for the team in goals with 15, seventh in assists with 26, and sixth in overall points, with 41 points. He is tied for eighth in goals, tied for ninth in assists, and in eighth for points. These lists include two players acquired from other teams whose total for Ottawa is not more the Clark’s. He is tied for seventh on the team in assists. He is listed as tied for ninth in assists, as that list includes two players acquired partway through the season. He is now sixth in total points for players who had been with the team the entire year. There are numerous forwards on the team vying for playing time, given that the 67’s had earlier acquired two more high scoring forwards for their lineup, Lucas Chiodo and Kyle Maksimovich, in preparation for trying to earn the OHL Championship.
EAST COAST HOCKEY LEAGUE (ECHL)
Parker Milner – G – Undrafted – 28-years old
Milner signed a contract with the Washington Capitals on February 24, for the league minimum of $650,000, good through the end of the season. He was previously under contract with the Hershey Bears. Milner continues to be the primary starter for the Stingrays, since returning from injury in January. On the season, he is 11-13-2, with a 3.07 Goals-Against Average and a .908 save percentage.
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (NCAA)
Chase Priskie – D – Drafted Sixth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 22-years old
Priskie, along with teammates Andrew Shortridge and Odeen Tufto were named Among 20 finalists for the 67th Walter Brown Award, as announced by The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston on February 4. The Walter Brown Award is presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England and is the nation’s oldest nationally-recognized college hockey award. Priskie was named a finalist for the 2018-19 Senior CLASS Award in February 8. Priskie made #3 in SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays on February 23 (here) with a beautiful end-to-end goal. In the Bobcats’ 10 games in February, Priskie has four goals and six assists, including a two-goal game against Clarkson, giving him 17 goals and 22 assists in 32 games so far this season. He is currently ranked eighth nationally in goals, 21st nationally in assists, first in the country in power play goals (10) and ninth in the country in points/game average (1.22). The Bobcats wrap-up their regular season this weekend (March 2) before they begin tournament play next weekend. As per Section 8.6(c)(i) of the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Capitals will hold Priskie’s contract rights until August 15 of this summer. At that point, if unsigned, Priskie can become an unrestricted free agent, and free to sign with any team. However, if the Capitals intend to sign Priskie, look for it to happen in a similar time frame as Shane Gersich signed last spring (March 23), immediately following the conclusion of Quinnipiac’s season. The Capitals currently sit at the maximum of 50 contracts, and something will need to happen before signing him.
Benton Maass – D – Drafted Sixth-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Ever since the year leading up to the 2017 NHL Draft, scouting reports on defenseman Benton Maass have mentioned his potential, including his offensive upside. One of Maass’s strengths in the offensive zone is his shot from the area above the faceoff circles to the blueline. In two of the six UNH games in February, Maass earned a primary assist when his shot on goal was tipped in. Here are the video highlights of these shots; one slapshot and one wrister: (here). Maass totaled 11 shots on goal over the six-game stretch and overall, he has 34 shots on goal in 25 games. In the latter half of his sophomore season at UNH, Maass has been paired with undrafted freshman Will MacKinnon (son of Dan MacKinnon, Senior Director of Player Personnel, New Jersey Devils). Maass is also a primary defenseman on UNH’s penalty kill. Although UNH lost four times in February and surrendered five, four, six, and six goals in those losses, Maass’s defensive play remained solid. His plus/minus rating in the four losses was even, even, plus-1, and even. Overall, Maass leads UNH in blocked shots with 51 in 25 games. His 2.04 blocked shots per game is the second-highest in Hockey East. He has been penalized only three times in 25 games for a total of six minutes. This is the third-fewest penalties in Hockey East. With only three games remaining in the regular season, Benton Maass and UNH are in eighth place in Hockey East and have qualified for the Playoffs.
EUROPEAN HOCKEY LEAGUES (SHL/NLA)
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – LW – Drafted fifth-round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 20-years old
In seven games played in February, Jonsson-Fjällby managed to put up one assist in the point column, continuing his scoring drought. With the strong end of the last season in mind, the Capitals rightfully could hope for more from the Swede, this should be his breakthrough party. He is still young, and the picture of that it’s a player with character, willing to work hard, so the Capitals shouldn’t give up on him. .
Martin Fehervary – D – Drafted second-round, 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Things haven’t changed that much since last time in the Fehervary-department. The Slovak is still a part of the seven defenseman that is dressed each night for HV71 in SHL. In the month of February, Fehervary has put up two assists in seven games. As previously mentioned, he’s not a flashy defenseman, but it’s his defensive game that is most noticeable. And he has looked solid moving forward.
Sebastian Walfridsson – D – Drafted fifth-round, 2017 NHL Entry Draft – 19-years old
Walfridsson has dressed for the senior team of MODO for five games since last time we checked on him, he has mostly been sitting on the bench though. Most of his ice time has come with the U20 team in SuperElit, where he is a influential player. As previously mentioned, Walfridsson needs senior ice time though. And a tough season continues for him, where he surely hoped for more than this.
Damien Riat – W/C – Drafted fourth–round, 2016 NHL Entry Draft – 22–years old
Riat has continued playing well for EHC Biel in the Swiss league, in total he has 23 points in 45 games, putting himself fourth in team scoring, on a team where production seems to be widely spread through the roster. The Swiss international currently averages Top 9 minutes, with about 15 minutes per game. Biel are on a good run, and on their way to the playoffs where Riat could expect to play a big part on the team.
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.
Prospect Report by:
Jon Sorensen (NCAA/WHL/AHL)
Eric Lord (AHL)
Jesper Svensson (Europe)
Mike Lowry (NCAA)
Diane Doyle (OHL)
Harrison Brown (WHL)
Mic Yugo (Prospects Insider)