Joe Snively Keeps Scoring, Vitek Vanecek Heating Up: Week 12 Prospect Report

Photo: Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Welcome to the week 12 Washington Capitals prospect report. The following includes game action and news that occurred between December 2 and December 8, 2019. (Reminder: you can always access all of our prospect news and analysis in the top menu under the “Prospects” tab. You can also follow the latest Capitals prospect news on Twitter under the #CapsProspect hashtag.



The Bears opened the week with a 2-1 win over Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Vitek Vanecek stopped 25 of 26 shots faced and Joe Snively scored his 5th goal in the last six games for the win. On Saturday, Vanecek would get the start again, and he wouldn’t disappoint, pitching a 32-save shutout in the Bears 1-0 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. On Sunday the Bears would fall into a 2-0 hole  to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after two periods, but would rally with markers from Matt Moulson and Christian Djoos to tie the game and send it to overtime. Joe Snively would score the game winner 2:20 into the extra frame, for the 3-2 win. The Bears are Starting to gain some momentum, winning their first six-point weekend of the year.

Vitek Vanecek – had a strong outing Friday night against the Phantoms. He stopped 25 of 26 for a .962 game save percentage. He would get the call in Saturday night’s rematch with Lehigh Valley at Giant Center, and pitched a shutout, making 32 saves. For the weekend, Vanecek stopped 56 of 57 shots for a .982 weekend save percentage. For the season, Vanecek is 6-4-1-1 with a 2.43 GAA and a .904 save percentage.

Pheonix Copley – would have a good outing in his only start of the week, stopping 23 of 25 shots faced in the 3-2 overtime win for the Bears. For the season, Copley is 6-5-4-1 with a 2.67 GAA and a .896 save percentage. Vanecek is the current pseudo number one netminder for Hershey as of right now, but look for Copley to make a push in his coming starts.

Joe Snively – scored his fifth goal in last six games Friday night against the Phantoms in Allentown.

Snively would score the game winner Sunday night. It was his sixth goal in his last seven games. He is thriving on the top line with Mike Sgarbossa and Garret Pilon.

Beck Malenstyn – The American Hockey League today announced on Sunday that Malenstyn was been suspended for three (3) games as a consequence of an elbowing incident in a game at Lehigh Valley on Dec. 6. (More here.)

Malenstyn left last night’s game against Lehigh Valley with a minute to go in regulation after suffering a hard hit and fall along the boards. He would not return to the game. It’s unclear as to his playing status regarding a potential injury, however, Bears Radio provided an update prior to Sunday night’s game.

Bobby Nardella – retuned to the lineup this week. After Sunday night’s game, Bears’ head coach Spencer Carbery credited his return for the two power play goals scored over the weekend.

Tobias Geisser – On Thursday the Capitals announced that they have loaned defenseman Tobias Geisser to EV Zug of Switzerland’s National League. As we pointed out in our November prospect report, Geisser has been the odd man out this season in Hershey. The level of competition for a playing spot on the Bears blueline has been significantly elevated with the arrivals of Martin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev. The re-assignment will allow for Geisser to get more playing time this season. According to EV Zug, Geisser is expected in Zug next week at the latest. The loan agreement runs until the end of the 2019/2020 season. If the Washington Capitals were to be shorthanded due to injury, they could theoretically get the defender back earlier. (More here.)


Connor McMichael – On Monday McMichael was officially announced as an invite for Team Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp.

On Thursday night in Peterborough, after a scoreless first period, McMichael met with the Peterborough media during the first intermission.

For the game, McMichael was held off the score sheet, ending his consecutive games point streak at 17 games. He was a -1 on 13 shots and 2 for 12 from the dot.

On Friday night McMichael was held to a single secondary assist in the Knights 6-3 loss to Owen Sound.

On Sunday, McMichael would provide the primary assist on the Knights first goal. It was his 33rd assist of the season.

McMichael would register a second primary assist on a 5-on-3 power play goal to give the Knights a 3-1 lead.

For the weekend, McMichael had just three assists, a relatively slow weekend for him. For the season, McMichael has 25 goals and 34 assists in 27 games played. He’s shot 122 times for a shooting percentage of 20.5%.

McMichael now departs for Team Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp held from December 9 to December 12 in Oakville, Ontario. 31 players were invited to this years camp. The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic, Dec. 26-Jan. 5. Key dates to remember:

Aliaksei Protas – Protas departed for Belarus Juniors camp in Minsk, Belarus on Monday 12/2. On Saturday, he appeared on a Belarus nighttime television “Makaenka9”, labeled “The First Evening Show in Belarus”.

The show included a “skills” competition where Protas was required to circle a traffic cone 10 times and then take a shot at a goal.

Protas and Belarus begin play in the 2020 IIHF World Under-20 Championship – Division 1A Monday versus Austria.

Eric Florchuk – had an assist in the Blades only game played this week. For the season Florchuk has 10 goals and 6 assists in 24 games played. He’s registered 39 shots for a 25.6% shooting percentage.

Alex Kannok-Leipert – On Friday the Giants brought out their holiday Grinch uniforms. We asked for a photo of the Captain, and Vancouver was happy to provide.


Damien Riat – was a scratch on Friday, 12/6. It’s unclear as to the reason for the scratch.  Riat returned to the lineup in 12/1 after setting out most of November with a concussion. Riat was hit in the head with a puck on 11/2. He posted photos on social media of he and girlfriend in the stands at the game.

Martin Hugo Has – Has is currently preparing for the World Juniors at the Czech Republic camp. The Hockey News asked Has about his own perceived strengths and weaknesses. Has answered: “Probably the physical game and being more mean on the ice. The plusses are shooting and overall competitiveness.” The Czech blueliner has been playing in Finland the past couple seasons after winning back-to-back junior titles at home. Look for him at the world juniors.”


Mitchell Gibson – After a scorching hot start Gibson comes back to earth a bit, stopping 29 of 32 shots faced in a 3-1 loss to Cornell on Friday. The loss was Gibson’s first of the season, giving him a record of 3-1-0. Gibson would also take the loss the following night at Colgate, falling 4-3 in overtime.

As a result of the back-to-back losses, Gibson dropped from first to 13th in the NCAA for all goaltenders. For the season Gibson is now 3-2-0 with a 2.23 GAA and a ,930 save percentage.

Benton Maass – had a nice primary assist in Saturday night’s game.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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11 Responses to Joe Snively Keeps Scoring, Vitek Vanecek Heating Up: Week 12 Prospect Report

  1. Anonymous says:

    Snively could get a taste here, shortly.

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