Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Martin Hugo Has, defenseman for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Has, a 6′-4″, right-handed defenseman from the Czeh Republic, played for six different teams last season, ending his 2019-2020 campaign with the Guelph Storm. The 19-year-old was selected 153rd overall in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL draft by the Washington Capitals (Capitals traded up to get Has). He is currently unsigned by the Capitals.
The 2019-2020 season was a whirlwind for Has. After being selected 153rd overall in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL draft by the Washington Capitals, Has was then selected by the OHL Battalion in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2019 CHL Import Draft. (Clubs in the OHL are permitted two imported players on their roster). Has was one of just 12 players selected by CHL teams, that were already drafted by NHL organizations.
A big two-way defenseman at 6’-4”, 190 pounds, Has spent 2014-2017 with the HC Sparta Praha program, appearing in 88 games, collecting 15 goals and 24 assists, all while often competing against players two and three years older than him.
For the next two seasons, Has played with the Tappara U20 team in the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, playing in 84 games and registering 32 points.
Has began the 2019-2020 season with the Tappara U20 team, scoring a goal in two games, but was subsequently called up to Liiga with Tappara for five games. Has had a goal and an assist before being loaned to Koovee in the Finnish Mestis League, where he played in 13 games, registered a goal, and was +4.
Has then left Koovee for the World Junior tournament where he played on Czech Republic’s top defensive pairing, registering a goal and three points in five games. Following the World Junior Championship, has was loaned to the North Bay Battalion, where he played one game before being traded to the Guelph Storm.
Stats: Elite Prospects
2019-2020 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports prepared during the 2019-2020 season. You can find all of our weekly and monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
After leaving the Czech Republic in 2017, the 18-year old defenseman has been playing for the SM-Liiga team Tappara’s, youth organization, with whom he has been taking big steps. Has has been playing for all youth national teams during the last few years, and is a likely candidate for the World Junior tournament after Christmas. Has has been playing both Mestis and Liiga hockey this season, after being loaned out to the Mestis side KOOVEE for four games, with whom he produced a goal. For Tappara, in the highest league – Liiga, he has recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in five appearances.
After starting the season splitting time between Tappara in the Finnish Liiga, and with KOOVEE of the Finnish Mestis league, Has has been been continuing playing with KOOVEE. The Czech blueliner dressed for five games during November, without producing a point, with a plus-7 rating. His team is doing well and currently resides in second place in the Finnish second league.
The Czech defenseman has continued his adjustment to senior hockey, putting up decent minutes each night on the Finnish second-tier team KOOVEE. Has is currently representing his country in the World Junior Championships, where he has three points (one goal, two assists) in two games at the time of writing.
Martin Has’ month of January has been a whirlwind. After finishing up at the World Juniors where he recorded a goal and for assists for the Czech Republic, he was officially loaned to North Bay Battalion in the OHL on January 9th. The right-handed defenseman would play in just one game with the Battalion before being traded to the Guelph Storm on January 10th. (You may recall that Has began the season splitting time between Tappara in the Finnish Liiga, and with KOOVEE of the Finnish Mestis league before the World Juniors and subsequently being loaned to North Bay). It’s assumed the Capitals have had their hand in the rapid movement of Has, who may be slated for Hershey next season. The 6’-4” Has was immediately assigned to the top defensive pair when he arrived in Guelph, where he finished the month. The Storm are a struggling team at times this season, on the edge of a playoff spot, so Has will be challenged. Has was injured on a back check against the London Knights in January 29th and would leave the game, however he wouldnt miss a start. Offensively he has four assists in nine games so far with the Storm.
February was supposed to be a settling month for Has, as the first few months of the season saw him play on five different teams. Unfortunately Has was struck by illness for a period, then an eye infection that caused him to miss games. He played in just seven games in the month of February. Has is also still trying to find his spot in the Storm’s defensive corps, as he continues to bounce around in pairings. Offensively, Has has five assists in 17 games played since joining Guelph. However, in the grand scheme of things, this season has been a good one for Has, as he has moved rapidly through the Capitals’ development system, and could be assigned to Hershey in September, a truly impressive climb for the 6’-4” right-handed defenseman.
Initial scouting on Has mentions his skating as a concern, in terms of mobility, so the move to the OHL will give him an excellent opportunity to develop his skating, playing against some of the fastest players in his peer group. His shot is next-level, and is already a pretty good on the defensive side.
As far as next season, Has is an interesting case. One could easily surmise that the Capitals expedited his development path this season, after a strong showing early in the season in Europe and in the World Junior Championship. As previously mentioned, Has quickly rose through the ranks in Europe, then transferred to the OHL following the World Junior Championships. However, his time with the Guelph Storm was hindered by a couple of injuries. He will likely begin the 2020-2021 season in Guelph, but Hershey may be in the latest formula for Has’ development next season at some point.
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Capitals’ Defensive Prospect Martin Hugo Has Officially Transfers To OHL’s North Bay Battalion
Capitals Defensive Prospect Martin Hugo Has Traded to OHL Guelph Storm
By Jon Sorensen