Photo: WHL/Prince Albert Raiders
It’s been a busy month of September for many of the Washington Capitals prospects. Most began the month in Nashville competing in the rookie showcase, then reported directly to MedStar Capitals Iceplex for the start Capitals training camp on September 13. For most of the prospects that were reassigned on the first cut-down day on Thursday, it meant returning to their junior teams and jumping right into game action. Here are the highlights from their first weekend of play.
Connor McMichael was cut from Capitals camp on Thursday, September 19 and in the lineup the next day for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). McMichael would start the OHL season centering the top line for the Knights, and would waste little time in finding the scoresheet. McMichael would pot his first goal of the season at 5:04 of the third with a wrist shot on a power play that beat the Peterborough Petes netminder Hunter Jones far side. McMichael had a goal and an assist on four shots and was 8 for 12 from the faceoff dot in his first game of the season.
McMichael would find the scoresheet on Saturday night as well. His tally would come on the end of an offensive forecheck and centering pass that squirted to the side. He would gather the puck and wrist one home. McMichael would score a goal on nine shots and go nine for 21 from the dot.
— Sean Patrick Ryan (@TheOilKnight) September 22, 2019
McMichael would finish the weekend with two goals and assist on 13 shots. He was a -2 and 17 for 33 on faceoffs.
Protas was also released from Capitals camp on Thursday and in the lineup for the Prince Albert Raiders Friday night. Protas would center the third line in the Raiders opening tilt. In the second period, “The Viper of Vitebsk” got the game’s first goal 4:25 into the frame. Off of a faceoff in the offensive zone, the Washington Capitals prospect fired a shot from the top of the left circle, beating Blades netminder Nolan Maier high glove side. Protas had a goal on three shots, and was 11 of 17 from the dot in the opening tilt.
Protas would add another assist the score sheet on Saturday night. He finished the second game of the season with one point on one shot, was a +1 and was eight for 22 from the faceoff dot. For the weekend Protas had a goal and an assist on four shots, was +1 and 19 for 39 from the faceoff dot.
Florchuk was also released from Capitals camp on Thursday and returned to Saskatoon in time for their season opener on Friday. Florchuk centered the Blades top line for the season opener. Unfortunately Florchuk would leave the game in the first period after taking a nasty hit from Prince Albert’s Justin Nachbaur. He would not return to the game, and would miss the Blades game on Saturday night.
Other Prospect News
- Capitals defensive prospect Alex Kannock began the season in the second defensive pair for the Vancouver Giants.
- Forward prospect Damien Riat returned to EHC Biel Bienne in time for Saturday’s tilt against the SCL Tigers. He started the season at 3RW.
- Hershey Bears open their 2019 training camp Monday morning at 10:30 am at Giant center.
By Jon Sorensen
Hi Jon, Great article
Serious talent these three Baby Caps. McMichael will have an inside track merely for playing under tutelage of Dale Hunter.
That hit on Eric Florchuk — Tom Wilson got 20 games last year for the same collision. Hope Florchuk is OK, he’s a great story as the “Anchor Man” (last pick) of his draft class
Caps in general have looked much better in three preseason games than all of last year. They won most of their games last season due to raw talent of their Top Six. Now the whole team is doing both snarl and forecheck that we didn’t see last season. Let’s see if they can keep it up
Between training camp where Sutter, Clark, and Alexeyev now injured. And now Florchuk. It’s been a rough fall for our prospects on the health front.
True story. Hopefully the injuries slow down here.
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