Capitals Prospects Playing Time During The COVID-19 Pandemic

While a number of Washington Capitals prospects have found temporary work with European teams during the current hockey stoppage in North America, a majority of the Capitals prospects are still looking for meaningful games. In this post we examine the inactivity for those prospects and assess the playing time for each of the Capitals prospects during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following chart details prospect playing time for each of the Capitals prospects on a week-by-week basis, since February 1, 2020. [Click to enlarge]

Interim Work:

To date, 10 Capitals prospects have been temporarily loaned or re-assigned to teams currently playing in Europe.

The aforementioned players have played anywhere from 5 t0 20 games so far this fall, in the KHL, SHL, SNL or the QMJHL. More on their development status can be reviewed in our latest monthly prospect report.

The following players have been essentially inactive since early March, meaning they have not participated in formal development or team activities.

  • Garin Bjorklund
  • Kody Clark
  • Mitchell Gibson
  • Lucas Johansen
  • Paul Ladue
  • Brett Leason
  • Benton Maass
  • Cameron Schilling
  • Joe Snively
  • Riley Sutter

The following players have been inactive since early March but participated in the Capitals two-week summer training camp at the end of July.

  • Shane Gersich
  • Garrett Pilon

And the following players have been inactive since early March, but participated in the Capitals summer camp AND traveled with the team to the Toronto Bubble.

  • Pheonix Copley
  • Martin Fehervary
  • Beck Malenstyn
  • Connor McMichael
  • Brian Pinho
  • Daniel Sprong
  • Vitek Vanecek

PROSPECT NOTES

While Connor McMichael has been essentially idle since the Capitals left the bubble in Toronto in September, he will be joining the Team Canada U20 team for training camp beginning on November 16 in advance of the World Junior Championship. This will essentially fill up his hockey schedule until the first week of January.

This year’s first round draft pick Hendrix Lapierre has played in five games for Chicoutimi in the QMJHL. The only league in North America to be playing games this fall has struggled as of late and has temporarily shut down due to COVID-19. Lapierre will also be attending the Team Canada U20 training camp on November 16. It is uncertain as of now if Lapierre will make the final roster for Team Canada.

Martin Hugo Has is in a similar situation as McMichael and Lapierre, as he will begin workouts with the Czech Republic team in November in advance of the World Juniors tournament. He has also previously participated in in a Czech national team camps in June and July. This will essentially fill up his hockey schedule until the first week of January.

Martin Fehervary was offered a slot on two teams in Bratislava but was told by the Capitals that he was not to play and he was to rest the shoulder he injured in the playoffs against the Islanders.

For collegiate prospects Mitchell Gibson and Benton Maass, the chance for playing time is even less clear, and could be that way for some time. The NCAA remains in a wait-and-see mode, which could go well into next year.

January 1st will mark a full year since Lucas Johansen has played in a game. He was injured in January and missed the remainder of the 2019-20 season. This may be a good opportunity for Johansen to reset, as he has dealt with a number of injuries and sub-par play in his 128 games played so far in the AHL.

Although the AHL, OHL and WHL have announced new start dates for the 2020-21 season, those dates are fluid and may slip again. In addition, although nothing is official, it sounds like the NHL and the NHLPA have been discussing holding a pseudo development camp for prospects for a week prior to the official opening of NHL training camps.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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