Last week a big part of the Capitals fanbase got a closer look at defenseman Martin Fehervary, and the big steps he has taken during the last season. With his swift skating and posture on the ice, he looked like a man against boys at many times. The final step for him, to reach the NHL is next on his list, and it could be waiting just around the corner. NoVa Caps European Prospects reporter Jesper Svensson, also an HV71 season ticket holder, shares a few of his thoughts on the highly touted defenseman.
After watching Martin Fehervary as a season ticket holder for HV71 in the SHL during the last season, I have been simply amazed. I haven’t seen such a raw talent since Kevin Fiala was in the ranks of the club. Raw talent really is the word to describe the slovak, and since I first saw him playing for IK Oskarshamn in the second tier-league Allsvenskan, that talent has been refined more and more for each day. I believe Fehervary can make the Capitals team this year, a opinion I’m sure he shares himself.
Fehervary has never been shy for a challenge. He left his native country Slovakia at 15 years of age, to play in Sweden. He has gone from junior, to playing against men in one of Europe’s finest leagues, in only a few years. The swift defenseman has also been representing his country in the World Championships for two straight years, being by far the youngest player. Facing players like Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin or even our own Alex Ovechkin, while being able to adjust to that level of play without any problems at all.
The major thing that catches the eye with Fehervary is his skating. It’s world class, elite if you will. Even though he is a big guy, I’ve seen him skate coast-to-coast numerous times, beating every opponent. His offensive game has improved a lot since his early days, where he was more of a defensive defenseman, and he really isn’t afraid to join the rush.
This past season Fehervary represented my hometown club HV71, a team known for giving young players the chance, if they deserve it off course. Going in to the season, the newcomer started off as the 7th defenseman and ended up playing over 30 minutes per night in the playoffs, being a pillar in the defense, pushing down renowned veterans in the line-up.
Talent-wise I’m sure Fehervary could make an impact at the NHL level for the Capitals this coming season. Of course the NHL is something else, it’s the best of leagues, you can’t just enter it for nothing. But the Capitals have sometimes, in my opinion, been a little too cautious with letting young talent spread their wings in their rightful habitat, pardon my nature-like comparison. If you’re good enough, you should play, no matter age. You don’t always need the “Hershey experience”, especially if you have been playing against men for several years.
Capitals Director of Player Development, Steve Richmond, expressed earlier this week that the Slovak, along with fellow prospects Alex Alexeyev and Axel Jonsson-Fjällby were the players at development camp, closest to making the NHL.
I share that opinion, and believe that both Fehervary and Alexeyev could turn out to be vital for the future Caps D-core, maybe even a future d-pair. Even though Fehervary has an offensive potential, he often played with a more offensive-minded partner, and then filling in where he needs to be on the ice. A versatile option for any team.
All and all, we should be excited about this player. He is a bit anonymous, something that very well could change in the near future, I promise you.
By Jesper Svensson
Don’t Settle: The Story Of Martin Fehervary
Martin Fehervary: The 19-year Old Defensive Prospect Is Working His Way To Washington [Translated Interview]
Capitals Prospect Martin Fehervary Steps-Up In SHL Playoffs
Capitals Prospect Martin Fehervary Poised For Leadership Role At Upcoming World Juniors