Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Martin Fehervary, defenseman for the Hershey Bears. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Fehervary, 20, is 6’2”, 190-pound, left-handed defenseman, who played six games with the Capitals last season, and the remainder of the 2019-2020 season with the Hershey Bears. The Bratislava, Slovakia native was drafted by the Capitals in the second round (#46 overall) of the 2018 NHL entry-level draft. Fehervary signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals on July 1, 2018.
Martin has a great deal of international hockey experience for a 20 year-old. He’s spent a majority of the past five seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, most recently with HV71, and represented Team Slovakia in the past three World Juniors tournaments.
Fehervary played against mostly older players and climbed the defensive ranks for HV71. By the time playoffs rolled around, he found himself on the team’s top pair. During one game in March, the Slovak played a season-high 24:51 against Färjestad. Fehervary played a total of 43:13 minutes, when HV71 lost in the third overtime period against Färjestad in the playoffs. He was praised for his performance by the media and one could argue that this was his real coming out party in the SHL.
He also anchored Team Slovakia in the World Juniors, and had a very good tournament for the less talented Slovak team. Martin embraced his leadership role with Team Slovakia, impressing his team and media covering the tournament.
Fehervary’s 2019-2020 campaign was solid from start to finish. Following a strong showing in Capitals training camp, Fehervary began the season with the Capitals. After three games, on his 20th birthday, he was re-assigned to Hershey. Defensively, Fehervary was sound. He picked-up the AHL game quickly, and became a trusted Bears defender in short order. He played on both sides during the season, and was a stalwart on special teams. He finished the season a +15, which was the third best plus/minus on the Bears team. Offensively he finished with four goals and 11 assists.
2019-20 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for the 2019-2020 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
The Capitals’ top-ranked rookie defender prospect from Bratislava, Slovakia started the season in the NHL, suiting up for three games with the parent club. He has played six games in Hershey since being re-assigned and has fit right in. Fehervary plays with a calmness and poise that belies his age. He always seems to make the right decision and is consistently in a good position defensively. It will not be long until the Slovak is the best defensive defenseman on the Bears. Not known for his offense, Fehervary has chipped in with three points. He scored his first AHL goal against Wilkes-Barre /Scranton on October 13; with the Bears shorthanded, Fehervary took a pass from Malenstyn and skated up ice. He then beat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goalie Casey DeSmith on the blocker side with a wrist shot from the right circle and was named the second star in that game.
Trending – Up
The young Slovak defenseman continues to play with the poise of a veteran. He plays under control and rarely panics. The Bratislava, Slovakia native makes good decisions in his own end. He leads the Bears in plus/minus with a plus-5 rating. Offensively, Fehervary’s three goals are the most for a Hershey rookie. He has also contributed six assists and is tied for fifth on the team in scoring. Fehervary plays in all situations and contributes on both the power play and penalty kill. Look for Fehervary to make a return trip to Washington as soon as the Capitals can afford to do so.
The rookie from Slovakia has been Hershey’s most steady defender all season. He leads the team in plus/minus with a plus-10 rating. Fehervary still makes some rookie mistakes, but he learns from them. He allowed Hartford’s Steven Fogarty to go down the middle to score the tying goal on December 1. He faced the same situation later in the game and took the middle away. Fehervary is used heavily on the penalty kill and has had a hand in the unit’s improvement. Offensively, the Slovak had two assists on the month to push his point total for the season to 11.
Fehervary scored one goal in January, but it was a highlight reel goal. In the second period on January 19, he split two Rochester players and then used a burst of speed to get past another. The rookie finished it off by slotting a backhand shot through the five-hole. The Bratislava, Slovakia native also contributed two assists in the month. Defensively, Fehervary remains one of Hershey’s steadiest defenders. He plays in all situations and is a smart player. He is tied for the team lead in plus/minus with a rating of +11.
Fehervary went scoreless in the month of February. It was the first month in which he did not register a point. He has not recorded a point since tallying a goal against Rochester on January 19. The Slovak played three games for the Washington Capitals in February and posted his first career NHL point with an assist against Philadelphia on February 8. He had a rough night on February 10 against the Islanders. His turnover led to Anthony Beauvillier’s second goal of the first period and he ended the game as a minus-3. Fehervary returned to Hershey after that game and was a little off in his first few games back. He then settled back in defensively and was a steady presence the last four games of the month.
Martin Fehervary is about to be declassified as a “prospect”. He’s ready, spent time with the Capitals this past season, and will likely join the team when play resumes. The second round pick from the 2018 draft has been ahead of typical development trajectories since his selection.
Look for Fehervary to join the Capitals if/when the 2019-2020 season resumes as a “Black Ace” and then compete for a starting job before or during the 2020-2021 season.
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By Jon Sorensen