Washington Capitals defensive prospect Alexander Alexeyev made his KHL debut on Tuesday. The Capitals announced last week that they have loaned Alexeyev to Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL) to begin the 2020-21 season. He will return to North America in time for Capitals training camp or the start of the AHL season.
The game was Alexeyev’s first game since the Hershey Bears and the AHL halted play back in early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As for the game itself, Alexeyev recorded 3 shots and 2 hits in 14:19 of play (21 shifts) and 5:22 of special teams time.
Following the game, Alexeyev sat for a quick interview for the team’s website.
Alexander Alekseev, defender of HC Salavat Yulaev – How did it go?: – It turned out to be a good game, I think.
How do you like playing in the KHL in terms of speed and level of play, do you feel the difference?
“I haven’t played since March. This was especially felt at the beginning, there was a feeling as if I had stepped onto the ice for the first time. The ice area is a little wider, you need to skate and pass more.“
How much do you already understand of the instructions given by the coaching staff, and work on the power play and penalty kill?
‘Everything must be done with the head. Here the system is the same as in Washington, so it was convenient to adapt. I think it will be possible to quickly get used to the short handed and power play system.“
Today you entered the zone twice, and once shot it outright. Was the plan to connect on the attack, or are these situational decisions?
“I like attacking hockey and connecting to attack, and in Washington, the coaches always talk about this to the defenders, it happens automatically.”
It turned out to be a funny moment: during the break in the interview you said that you were ready to play on the penalty kill, and in the second period in the first shift you conceded a goal. Comment on that puck?
“There everything turned out so so, the puck flew out incomprehensibly. I skated a little to the left, and Solodukhin fell, and it seemed like the puck bounced off the skate. Most importantly, we won.”
Most of the Capitals top tier prospects participated in the Capitals two-week summer training camp held in July, with all but Shane Gersich and Garrett Pilon traveling with the team to Toronto.
In addition, several prospects have been officially loaned to teams in Europe, who are already beginning their seasons. The players are loaned until the start of the Capitals training camp or the start of the AHL season.
Alex Alexeyev – The Washington Capitals confirmed that defensive prospect Alexander Alexeyev has been loaned to Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
Aliaksei Protas – KHL (Dinamo Minsk) – The Capitals announced that Aliaksei Protas has been loaned to Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Protas has played in four exhibition games so far, centering the fourth line in his last two games. His first regular season game with Dinamo is September 3.
Damien Riat – SNL (Geneve-Servette) – The Capitals confirmed various earlier reports that forward Damien Riat would return to the Swiss National League. Riat played for Geneve-Servette for three seasons from 2015-2018. Riat and Geneve-Servette had their first tune-up game on Saturday. Although Riat did not attend the Capitals return to play training camp last month, he did participate in the Swiss National teams training camp.
Tobias Geisser – SNL (EV-Zug) – The Capitals also confirmed that defenseman Tobias Geisser would start the 2020-21 season in the Swiss National League. Geisser transferred from Hershey to EV-Zug after the start of last season to find more playing time. It is expected that the Capitals will recall Geisser to North America when the organization’s 2020-21 training camps open.
Axel Jonsson-Fiallby – The Capitals announced that Jonsson-Fjallby has been loaned to Vastervik IK of the Swedish HockeyAllsvenskan League to begin the 2020-21 season
Damien Riat (Switzerland) and Martin Hugo Has (Czech Republic) have been somewhat fortunate in that they are already participating in training camps and scrimmage games with their respective national teams.
By Jon Sorensen