With the offseason now kicking into high gear we continue breaking-down the last 12 months for each of the Washington Capitals prospects and provide a forecast for each of the players for the coming season. We continue the series with a review and forecast for defenseman, Martin Fehervary. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Fehervary, 19, is a left handed defenseman, currently on loan from the Capitals to HV71 in the Swedish Hockey League. The Bratislava, Slovakia native was drafted by the Capitals in the second round (#46 overall) of the 2018 NHL entry-level draft. Fehervary signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals on July 1, 2018.
Martin has a great deal of international hockey experience for a 19 year-old. He’s spent a majority of the past five seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, most recently last season with HV71, and represented Team Slovakia in the past three World Juniors tournaments.
2018-2019 SEASON SUMMARY
Fehervary, again just 19 and playing against mostly older players, climbed the defensive ranks this season for HV71. By the time playoffs rolled around, he found himself on the team’s top pair. During one game in March, the Slovak played a season-high 24:51 against Färjestad. Fehervary played a total of 43:13 minutes, when HV71 lost in the third overtime period against Färjestad in the playoffs. He was praised for his performance by the media and one could argue that this was his real coming out party in the SHL.
This season he anchored Team Slovakia in the World Juniors, and had a very good tournament for the less talented Slovak team. Martin embraced his leadership role with Team Slovakia, impressing his team and media covering the tournament.
2018-2019 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports prepared during the 2018-2019 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
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).
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.
Fehervary was selected once again to play for Team Slovakia in the 2019 World Junior Championship and was also made team captain. The Scouting report for Fehervary at World Junior Championship: Plays Middle in 1-3-1 on the power play, has put on some size, is an offensively-skilled player, can quarterback the power play, can play up top and sneak in to play the middle spot. He is strong enough for the NHL and skilled with the puck. Fehevary was named Player of the Game on December 29. Fehevary logged a lot of minutes, assisted on Slovakia’s only goal and was generally solid defensively. Before heading to World Junior Championship-duties, the Slovakian continued his stable spell with HV71, and has, despite his age, continued to play well on the back end. He’s not the spectacular kind of defenseman, but is rather where he should be at the right time, making the simple plays between joining a rush when it suits him. At the moment Fehervary captains the Slovakian U20 team in the World Junior Championships. Fehervary and his fellow countrymen have had a tough start, losing all three games against tough opposition in the form of Sweden, the US and Finland. In these games Fehervary has produced two assists, finishing with a minus-3 rating. Fehervary has continued his good spell, and December has been a decent month for him.
Since returning from World Junior duties, Fehervary has continued being a part of the 7-man defense that HV71 rotates with each game. Yes, in European hockey, teams usually dress a 13th forward and a 7th defenseman, which are always free to play. In these games the Slovakian produced one assist, but as a season ticket holder with HV71, who sees all his games, I must say that he is looking very good, even though he doesn’t put up a large amount of points. Fehervary is a good skater, who isn’t afraid to join the rush or use his body. Most of all he looks rock-solid in his own zone, and often wins one-against-one duels. As a d-man, it usually is harder to develop a defensive game later in one’s career, then getting better offensively. I’m confident that the production will come, and bear in mind that the guy is playing against seniors.
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.
Fehervary has had a good month, gaining a lot more of playing time during the last few weeks. Points-wise, the big defenseman has put up three assists in eleven games. At the moment HV71 are in the playoffs, where Fehervary has been playing a lot more, especially after an injury to teammate Alexander Ytterell. During one game in March, the Slovak played a season-high 24:51 against Färjestad. Fehervary has looked very good, and seems to adapt well to the much more physical playoff hockey. If nothing happens it’s likely that he will keep his spot on the first defensive-pairing, where he has been playing for the last few games. He plays with confidence and isn’t afraid to join the attack. On March 30, Fehervary played a total of 43:13 minutes, when HV71 lost in the third overtime period against Färjestad in the playoffs. He was praised for his performance by the media and one could argue that this was his real coming out party in the SHL. He isn’t the most vocal guy off the ice, but when he plays like he did then it’s hard not get noticed. He looks like a veteran in the way he handles the puck even under pressure. After the season it would be very surprising if he isn’t selected to Team Slovakia in the World Championships, which he was last year. Lastly, to quote Swedish hockey writer Mattias Ek, “Martin Fehervary would likely play in the NHL already next season”. I really believe we are in for a treat with this guy in the future, if not already next season.
Fehervary could spend one more season in the SHL, but ideally his next step is Hershey and the AHL, and will likely be reporting to Chocolate Town this fall. The final decision will be made this summer.
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By Jon Sorensen