Washington Capitals forward prospects Connor McMichael, Phillippe Mailet, Shane Gersich, and Daniel Sprong, all expected to be black aces for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, joined the team’s informal practice on Thursday.
GM Brian MacLellan said in May that McMichael could be a black ace for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is reportedly set to start on Thursday, July 31. The 19-year-old posted 47 goals, 102 points, and a +32 rating in 52 games for the OHL’s London Knights this past season before the rest of their season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. McMichael also participated in the World Junior Championships with Canada. He was selected 25th overall in last year’s draft.
Maillet, signed by the Capitals as a free agent on July 1, 2019, recorded 17 goals, 44 points, and a -1 rating in 61 games in his first season with the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
Sprong, acquired in a trade from the Anaheim Ducks that sent defenseman Christian Djoos to SoCal on February 24, recorded one goal, two points, and a -2 rating in eight NHL games this season and 19 goals, 30 points, and a -17 rating in 97 career NHL games with the Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins. He tallied 11 goals, 27 points, and a -11 rating in 39 games with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls and one goal, six points, and a -1 rating in five games with the Bears this season. Sprong was selected 46th overall by the Penguins in 2015.
Gersich, the Capitals’ 134th overall pick in 2014, posted 10 goals, 18 points, and a +5 rating in 54 games with the Bears this season and has recorded one assist and a -1 rating in three games with the Capitals in 2018. He also appeared in two games during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup that year.
By Harrison Brown