Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Alex Alexeyev, defenseman for the Hershey Bears. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Alexeyev, 20, was the Capitals first round draft pick (#31 overall) in the 2018 NHL entry draft. The 6’-4” left-handed defenseman signed a three-year entry-level contract on September 24, 2018 for $894,167 AAV. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2021-22 season. He is waivers exempt for the coming season.
Alexeyev began his hockey career with Serebryanye of the MHL (the KHL’s minor league system). He was subsequently drafted in the first round of the 2016 CHL import draft by the Red Deer Rebels.
Alexeyev started for the Rebels beginning with the 2016-2017 season, where he registered four goals and 17 assists in 41 games played.
In his second year at Red Deer, Alexeyev would nearly double his scoring output, registering seven goals and 30 assists in 45 games. However, he would suffer a shoulder injury that marginalized his season.
His 2018-2019 campaign was a tale of two seasons for Alex, with a clear delineation of the two parts occurring at the 2019 World Junior Championship in late December and early January. Alexeyev got off to a blazing-hot start, offensively in October, scoring seven goals and 13 assists in just 15 games in October. He was also named WHL player of the week in late October. In November he had no goals but nine assists in nine games played, and sustained his first of several injuries During the season in late November.
Alexeyev was selected for the World Juniors by Team Russia, scoring a goal and adding an assist in a game against Switzerland in the preliminary round. He scored a goal against Switzerland (here) on December 30, with one goal and three assists in four games played in the preliminary round. In the end, Alexeyev had an impressive showing at this year’s World Junior Championship in Vancouver, British Columbia (recap is here). Alexeyev had two goals and four assists in seven games played. He totaled 12 shots for a shooting percentage of 16.7% for the tournament. He totaled 10 PIMs, registered one power play goal and one game-winning goal, and was a plus-9.
However, his productivity continued to quiet down after he returned to Red Deer. Alexeyev returned to Red Deer starting on January 9. Unfortunately he suffered another injury in a game against the Calgary Hitmen on January 19. He left the game, but returned to finish the game. However, he was scratched the following night against the Hitmen and against Medicine Hat on January 25. He also missed the remaining two games of the month. According to local sources, Alexeyev was seen around the practice facility with his shoulder in a sling, and it looks like he injured the same shoulder he injured last season. After going through two significant injuries already in the season, Alexeyev suffered a significant knee injury at the beginning of March (here) and did not return to game action the remainder of the season. For The season, he had 10 goals and 33 assists in 49 games played.
Alexeyev’s rookie season in the AHL went well, playing in 58 of the team’s 62 games. The 58 games played for Hershey was a career high for Alexeyev, who was injury prone in his junior hockey career. Offensively he recorded three goals and 18 assists, good enough for fourth in points among all Bears rookies, and second among defensemen. He was third among all Bears rookies with a +8. Defensively, Alexeyev did well for his, rookie season, but still has plenty to learn, all to be expected for his first year in the pros.
2019-2020 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Alex Alexeyev during the 2019-2020 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
Alexeyev started his time with the Capitals’ prospects at the rookie showcase in Nashville in early September. Alexeyev had a good tournament before being injured on a late second period hit in the second game. Alexeyev would miss the remainder of the tournament and all of Capitals training camp. The young Russian blueliner has played with poise. Paired with veteran Erik Burgdoerfer, Alexeyev has been solid on both ends of the ice, playing in all situations and seeing a lot of ice time. Defensively, he has played smart and has made good decisions. Offensively, he has tallied six points, tying him for third-most on the Bears. He is second on the team with five assists. The St. Petersburg, Russia native potted the first goal of the season for Hershey, 1:02 into the first period against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Opening Night. Alexeyev had a good, and more importantly, healthy month in Hershey. Offensively, he would register a goal and five assists for the month, second in the AHL among rookie defensemen, only two points behind former Capitals prospect Chase Priskie, who turned in a three-point game against Syracuse recently.
Trending – Up
The rookie blueliner continues to impress offensively. He dished out four assists in November and is third on the team in that category with nine. He has good vision and has a knack for finding the open player. On the other end of the ice, the Russian defenseman has had his ups and many downs, which is to be expected with a young defenseman and there are times where his inexperience shows. In the third period on November 27 against Providence, Alexeyev was burned to the outside by Jakub Lauko after being caught flat-footed. He was a minus-6 for the month and needs to be more consistent in his own end. That will come with experience. On the flip side, Alexeyev finished the month of November leading all Bears rookies in points with nine.
December was Alexeyev’s least productive month offensively thus far, but his defensive game improved significantly from November. After finishing as a minus-6 in November, the Russian rookie was a plus-4 in December. His positioning and decision-making were both better. He has been solid on the penalty kill, an improvement that was on full display on December 15 against Bridgeport. The Bears were down two men in the third period. Alexeyev blocked two shots in quick succession and then blocked another to help the Bears kill off the five-on-three. He was deservedly named the third star of the game for his penalty killing efforts. Offensively, the rookie defenseman had three assists to give him a total of 12 for the season, the third most on the team.
The Russian blue liner is one Hershey’s best shot blockers. On January 8, he blocked a shot to snuff out a Hartford scoring chance on a power play in the second period. Alexeyev is a very good penalty killer and plays a big role on the Bears’ highly ranked penalty kill unit. The St. Petersburg, Russia native snapped a seven-game scoreless drought with a goal and an assist at Springfield on January 22. The goal was his first since scoring the season-opening goal on October 5. Alexeyev has two goals and 14 assists on the season.
Alexeyev experienced a bit of an up-and-down month. He scored his third goal of the season against Springfield on February 8 and added an assist in that game. That was an up. The rookie defenseman then found himself a healthy scratch on February 15 after a poor game at Binghamton on February 14. That was a down. To his credit, he responded to being scratched and played better after returning to the lineup. Additionally, Alexeyev topped the 50-games played plateau during the month, which is a career-high in games played. Alexeyev had three assists in the last five games of the month, and was a plus-4 in a 6-1 win over Charlotte on February 25.
The Capitals first round draft pick from the 2018 draft is at least a year away from challenging for a roster spot in DC. Alexeyey, 20, was fun to watch this year in Hershey, and it’s clear he will eventually be a good-to-really good defenseman at the NHL level.
However, he’s still very young, struggled defensively this season, made mistakes in coverage and is still adapting to the faster and heavier game played at the AHL level. He was even a healthy scratch for games. This is all to be expected for an AHL rookie. On the plus side, concerns regarding Alexeyev’s durability subsided a bit this season, as he played the most games (58 games) in a season in his career. His development is on track.
Alexeyev will return to Hershey when the AHL returns to play, however, he could see time with the Capitals should the AHL hiatus be lengthy.
“I’d Never Had Grilled Cheese Before”: Capitals 2018 First-Round Pick Alexander Alexeyev Talks First Professional Season, Life in America, Alex Ovechkin, and More
Staying Healthy Will Be Top Priority For Alexander Alexeyev: An Examination Of His Injuries Over The Past Three Seasons
Bears Down Thunderbirds 5-2; Alex Alexeyev, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Score
Thunderbirds Cage Bears 5-2; Alex Alexeyev Scores Second Career AHL Goal
Capitals Prospects Weekend Update: Alex Alexeyev Scores First Professional Goal; Connor McMichael Rolls
Alexander Alexeyev Scores First Professional Goal on First Career Shift in Hershey Bears’ Game Against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Capitals’ Defensive Prospect Alexander Alexeyev Reassigned To Hershey
Capitals’ Prospect Alexander Alexeyev Skates For First Time Since Suffering Upper-Body Injury In Prospect Tournament
Capitals’ Prospect Alex Alexeyev: “The Goal Is To Make The Team”
Capitals Prospect Alex Alexeyev Goes Down With Apparent Knee Injury
Capitals Sign Alexander Alexeyev To Three-Year Entry-Level Contract
Capitals Prospect Alexander Alexeyev Scores Twice Against Calgary Hitman
Capitals Prospect Alexander Alexeyev Named WHL Player Of The Week
Capitals Prospect Alexander Alexeyev Goes Down With Apparent Knee Injury
Capitals Prospect Alexeyev Makes Defenseman Fall Down, scores Goal For Team Russia
By Jon Sorensen