We continue breaking-down the last 12 months for each of the Washington Capitals prospects with an annual review and forecast for forward/winger, Beck Malenstyn. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Malenstyn, 21, is a 6’-2” left-handed winger who spent all of last season in the AHL with the Hershey Bears. The White Rock, British Columbia native was a 5th round draft pick (#145 overall) by the Capitals in the 2016 NHL entry draft. Malenstyn signed a three-year entry-level contract with Washington on April 10, 2017, for $736,666 AAV.
Malenstyn spent parts of five seasons in the WHL, most with the Calgary Hitman, before being traded to the Swift Current Broncos in his last year in the league.
Malenstyn’s top scoring season occurred during the 2016-2017 season with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, where he registered 32 goals and 24 assists in 70 games played.
Malenstyn was traded from Calgary to Swift Current just four games into the 2017-2018 season. The move would ultimately pay huge dividends as Malenstyn and the Broncos would win the WHL championship and hoist the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Malenstyn finished the season with 17 goals and 15 assists in 42 games played in the regular season. Malenstyn added another four goals and 11 asssits in postseason play.
2018-2019 SEASON SUMMARY
Malenstyn showed excellent developmental progress during his first year in the AHL, and it could be argued, he made the biggest advance of all Capitals prospects during the 2018-2019 season. He quickly found his place last fall, providing a physical grit for the Bears, and often set the tone early in games with a heavy hit or two. Malenstyn also showed potential for being a team leader.
Malenstyn also began to find his way offensively, but still needs to continue improving in this area. Malenstyn is savvy in the offensive zone, but just needs to improve on finishing with the shot. He played predominantly on the left side, but did see time on the right side, and on all four lines.
Maybe Malenstyn’s biggest asset to the Bears this season was his contributions to the penalty kill. His shot blocking was outstanding. Hershey head coach Spencer Carbery commented on Malenstyn’s shot blocking in a pre-game interview with Bears radio broadcaster Zack Fisch on January 23. Carbery said, “Beck Malenstyn is one of the best shot blockers that I’ve seen.”
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.
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.
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.
The rookie winger got his first taste of professional discipline when he was suspended for two games for a high hit against Binghamton on December 2. Malenstyn is still struggling to find his offensive game. He broke a 12-game pointless streak when he tallied the first goal against Providence on December 30. The Bears need more offense from him. Still, Malenstyn has carved out a niche on the team as a penalty killer and physical presence. He is the top penalty killer on the team and does whatever it takes to clear the puck. He is usually the first penalty killer over the boards when the Bears are shorthanded and is often the lone forward on the ice when the team is down two men. He also is not afraid to deliver a big hit.
“Wreck-it” Beck Malenstyn has started to find his offensive game. He compiled four points through December. In January, he equaled that total. He tallied a game-winning, shorthanded goal in a 4-2 win over Laval on January 26. He also added three assists in the month. Also, Malenstyn remains Hershey’s top penalty killing forward. He is usually the first forward over the boards on the penalty kill and is often the initial forward on the ice when the Bears are facing a two-man power play. His shot blocking ability is also an asset. Hershey head coach Spencer Carbery commented on Malenstyn’s shot blocking in a pre-game interview with Bears radio broadcaster Zack Fisch on January 23. Carbery said, “Beck Malenstyn is one of the best shot blocker that I’ve seen.”
Beck “The Check” has become a fan favorite with his physical style of play. The White Rock, 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.
Malenstyn is in the midst of a 13-game point drought and went scoreless in March, but the rookie winger does not need to score to contribute to the team. He is one of Head Coach Spencer Carbery’s most trusted penalty killers and is arguably the top penalty killing forward on the team. Malenstyn also brings a physical presence to the team and knows when to deliver a big hit. He is not afraid to go into the corners and battle for loose pucks, carving out a role as a mucker and a grinder, something every team needs.
Malenstyn will look to improve his stick and puck handling and overall scoring next season. He will also likely be looked to by the Bears organization to provide more of a leadership roll in the team, stepping into the skates of seasoned veterans who leave the team this offseason.
Malenstyn’s future with the Capitals is likely in a bottom six winger spot, but could also be used in a “Tom Wilson” way. Malenstyn could see a callup next season, but his primary focus will improving on finishing with the puck and leading the Bears.
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By Jon Sorensen