Garrett Pilon Has Three-Goal Weekend; Aliaksei Protas Returns To WHL; Connor McMichael, Martin Hugo Has Score At World Juniors: Week 15 Prospect Report

Photo: Caroline O’Connor/Hershey Bears/Great Save Productions

Welcome to the week 15 Washington Capitals prospect report. The following includes a summary of game action and news for Capitals prospects that occurred between December 23 and December 29, 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 started the week with a 6-5 overtime win at Utica. The Bears gave up an early 4-1 lead, but Mike Sgarbossa would ultimately win it for Hershey in the extra frame. The Bears nine game winning streak came to an end on Saturday with a 2-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Giant Center. It was their first loss in the month of December. The Bears rebounded on Sunday with a convincing 3-0 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown. The win improves the Bears record to 18-10-2-3 (41 points) on the season. The Bears are now just two points behind Hartford and Providence for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Graphic: reddit/limits660

Vitek Vanecek – had an off game on Friday in Utica, giving up five goals on 23 shots faced, including one that simply slipped through the five hole on what should have been a routine save for him. He simply wasn’t dialed in after the brief holiday break. Vanecek would get the start again on Saturday night and perform much better, stopping 22 of 24 shots faced for a .917 game save percentage. For the season, Vanecek is 10-5-1-1 with a 2.35 GAA and a .908 save percentage.

Pheonix Copley – did not make the trip to Utica on Friday, after suffering a minor tweak in a Thursday’s practice. He would also miss Saturday and Sunday’s games. The Bears called-up Parker Milner for Sunday’s game. He would stop all 19 shots he faced for the 3-0 shutout.

Garrett Pilon – scored two goals in a span of 11 seconds in the first period of Friday night’s tilt with the Utica Comets. His first would come directly off of a faceoff won by Mike Sgarbossa.

His second goal would come 11 seconds later, after the Bears won the ensuing faceoff and immediately went on the attack. Mike Sgarbossa would again get the primary assist.

Pilon would score his third goal of the weekend in the second period of Sunday’s game against the Phantoms. For the season, Pilon has six goals and 11 assists in 32 games played.

Brian Pinho – scored a short-handed goal in Friday night’s game at Utica. It was the Bears 6th shortie of the season, which is seventh-best in the entire AHL. The Bears had three shorties all of last season.

Pinho would also score in the second period of Sunday’s game against the Phantoms in Allentown. For Pinho, he has six goals and nine assists in 33 games played so far this season.

Kody Calrk – would score his first career AHL goal Friday night versus the Utica Comets.

Joe Snively – would score his eighth goal of the season in Friday night’s 6-5 overtime win at Utica.

Snively would score his ninth goal of the season on Sunday, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead in the second period against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Snively has eight goals and two assists in his last 15 games played.


Connor McMichael
McMichael would score Team Canada’s first goal of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in their opener, a 6-4 win against Team USA on Thursday.

McMichael finished with a goal and was plus-one while seeing limited time. He was not out for any of the penalty-killing shifts that were scored against Canada. He saw 8:43 of ice-time with 9 shifts and had three shots on goal including a nice wraparound attempt.

On Saturday, Team Canada was steamrolled by Team Russia 6-0. McMichael had just 10:53 of ice time in the loss.

McMichael was moved from the fourth line to the top line in Sunday’s Team Canada practice.

The CHL released a brief profile video on McMichael on Sunday evening. He discusses the confidence he gained from attending Capitals’ training camp, and playing for Dale Hunter.

McMichael and Team Canada next face Germany Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern time.

Aliaksei Protas
Protas returned to Prince Albert on Friday (12/27) after competing at the 2020 IIHF World Under-20 Championship Division 1A for Belarus prior to the break. The Belarusian team finished in third place at the tournament they hosted. Protas tied for fourth in tournament scoring with three goals and four assists.

Protas would pick up where he left off, scoring a goal in his first game back with the  Raiders on 12/27 against Saskatoon.

Protas would add another goal and two assists on Saturday against Saskatoon.

For the season, Protas has 20 goals and 27 assists in 29 games played with the Raiders. He’s made 99 shots for a 20.2% shooting percentage on the season. He is 5th in points in the WHL.

Eric Florchuk – had two assists in Saturday night’s game against Prince Albert. For the season, Florchuk has 11 goals and 10 assists in 29 games played. He’s registered just 45 shots on goal so far this season, for a shooting percentage of 24.4%. He has been moved down to center the second line in the last five games.


Martin Hugo Has – not much of a surprise, but Has survived the final round of cuts to make the host Country’s roster:

Hugo Has would score in Saturday’s game against Germany. He also tallied three assists in the game.

Sebastian Walfridsson – scored his third goal of the season. For the season, the left-handed defenseman has 3g, 3a in 33 games played.

Damien Riat – Riat has played in just one game since his November 2nd injury. He has two goals and four assists in 17 games played so far this season.


Mitchell Gibson – Gibson and the Harvard Crimson returned to action on Saturday in Southern California. Gibson stopped 43 of 44 shots faced for a 4-1 win against Arizona State.

On Sunday, Gibson stopped 28 of 32 shots faced against the Sun Devils for a .879 game save percentage.

Gibson is 4-2-1 on the season, has stopped 231 of 248 shots faced for a .943 save percentage.

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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6 Responses to Garrett Pilon Has Three-Goal Weekend; Aliaksei Protas Returns To WHL; Connor McMichael, Martin Hugo Has Score At World Juniors: Week 15 Prospect Report

  1. Pingback: Wilson And Kempny Return; Oshie (Illness) And Djoos (Upper-Body) Are Listed As Day-To-Day: News From Capitals’ Practice | NoVa Caps

  2. Anonymous says:

    Snively, Nardella are looking like tremendous Undrafted signees.

  3. Pingback: Washington Capitals Monthly Prospect Report: December, 2019 | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: Connor McMichael Wins Gold, Brian Pinho Scores Three Goals, Garrett Pilon Heats Up: Week 16 Capitals Prospect Report | NoVa Caps

  5. Pingback: Connor McMichael Records 4th Hat Trick, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Scores 3 Goals in 2 Games, Beck Malenstyn Returns: Week 17 Prospect Report | NoVa Caps

  6. Pingback: Brian Pinho, Garrett Pilon And Beck Malenstyn Continue To Heat Up: Week 18 Prospect Report | NoVa Caps

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