The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday morning the re-signing of forward Shane Gersich to a one-year, two-way deal for $700,000/$150,000 average annual value (AAV).
The 2019-2020 season was somewhat of a transition season for Gersich, as he evolved into a slightly different role, one focused more on driving his line and less on scoring. To his credit, he embraced the new role, and improved most of the season. He finished the season with 10 goals and 18 assists in just 54 games. He also greatly improved his shooting percentage, finishing at 13.2%, up from 6.4% during his rookie campaign. He also recorded his first career hat trick.
FROM CAPITALS MEDIA RELEASE
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed forward Shane Gersich to a one-year, two-way contract ($700,000/$150,000), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Gersich, 24, finished last season with 18 points (10g, 8a) and a career-high 10 goals in 54 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL). The Chaska, Minn., native recorded his first career AHL hat trick on Jan. 31 at Bridgeport.
The 6’0”, 180-pound forward made his NHL debut on March 28, 2018, against the New York Rangers and appeared in three games in the 2017-18 season, recording an assist. Gersich also played in two playoff games, both in the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Pittsburgh Penguins, en route to the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup.
Gersich recorded 24 points (8g, 16a) in 66 games with the Bears in the 2018-19 season, his first full professional season. Gersich added another three points (1g, 2a) in nine playoff games with the Bears. He led Bears’ rookies in power play goals (2) and ranked second in points per game (0.36) among Hershey rookies with at least 10 games played. In 120 career games with Hershey, Gersich has recorded 42 points (18g, 24a).
Gersich recorded 29 points (13g, 16a) in 40 games with the University of North Dakota in his junior season in 2017-18, making him the second-highest goal scorer at North Dakota in his final collegiate season. Gersich also recorded four game-winning goals, tied for the most on the Fighting Hawks last season.
Gersich finished his NCAA career with 77 points (43g, 34a) in 117 games. Gersich was a NCAA All-Star Team Honorable Mention in his sophomore year after leading North Dakota in points (21g, 16a in 40 games), a season that included nine multi-point games. In his 2015-16 freshman season, Gersich’s nine goals ranked third among freshman at North Dakota. Gersich scored the opening goal in the 2016 National Championship, which led to an eventual 5-1 win.
The Capitals selected Gersich in the fifth round, 134th overall, in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Forecast From 2019-20 Player Review
Shane’s speed will always be his greatest asset, but he’s working on and showing signs of development in areas he needs to improve upon. His shot accuracy improvement alone is something that should be recognized. His passing and stick-handling continue to improve as his time in the AHL progresses, but for him, it needs to translate to the scoresheet. On the other end of the ice, the winger is a responsible player and makes good decisions in his own zone. He receives time on the penalty kill because of that.
Gerisich has been an interesting watch this season. After signing just a one-year extension last summer, it was clear the Capitals wanted to see more from Shane, and soon. It was also clear he needed to adjust his game and role on the team, and he did just that. The question will be, do the Capitals extend him? It’s very likely they do, after seeing his effort and ability to adapt this season. Look for a one-year extension, another year in Hershey with the goal of continuing his development towards a third line spot on the Capitals in the next two years.
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By Jon Sorensen