Washington Capitals Prospect Report – January, 2021: Alex Alexeyev, Bobby Nardella And Hendrix LaPierre Heat Up


Welcome to the fifth installment of NoVa Caps’ Washington Capitals Monthly Prospects Report for the 2020-2021 season. This report summarizes activities for each of the Capitals’ prospects for the month of January, 2021.  

Monthly Prospect Reports
September
October
November
December

[You can access all of our prospect news and analysis on our “Prospects” page located in the top menu]


PROSPECT UPDATES FOR JANUARY, 2021 (ALPHABETICAL)


ALEX ALEXEYEV – (LHD) – 21 – Drafted 2018 (First-Round, 31st overall)
Alexeyev was not recalled for Capitals training camp in mid-January and remained with Salavat Yuleav Ufa in the KHL. He finished the last half of December playing on the left side and would switch back to the right side for the last half of the month.

Alexeyev scored his first goal since November 11 on January 14 against Barys. He returned to his off-side after spending a majority of recent games on the left side.

Alexeyev would notch another tally the following game against Metallurg on January 16.

The 2018 first-round pick would score in his third consecutive game on January 19 against Servestal. Scorers would review the play and Alexeyev was asked after the game about the play, confirming he deflected the shot. He also made a nice play on an opposing rush, and got a piece of the shot.

As a result of his three consecutive games with a goal, Alexeyev was named KHL ‘Rookie Of the Week’ on January 19.

Alexeyev’s goal from January 14 was named the third-best goal of the week in the KHL on January 20.

Alexeyev would cap-off a pretty good second half of January by scoring the overtime game-winner on January 30.

Alexeyev was named a “Rookie Of The Week” in the KHL for the week ending 1/30/3031. This was the third name Alexeyev won the award this season.

Defensively, in the four games we’ve watched, Alexeyev’s game is showing early signs of coming around, with fewer blown assignments, and has been much more responsible in his own end. There is still work to be done, but the improvement is fairly evident.

Offensively for the month of January, Alexeyev recorded four goals and four assists. He recorded all four goals in the last seven games of the month. For the season, Alexyev has eight goals and eight assists, shooting 13.11% and is a plus-5 in 48 games played. He’s also been relatively injury-free, which has been a concern for Alexeyev in past seasons.

Here are Alexeyev’s game-by-game stats. (Click to enlarge)

Alexeyev’s shot characteristics for the season:

Game-By-Game Advanced stats for the season (Click to enlarge)


TRENDING: UP


GARIN BJORKLUND (G) – 18 – Drafted 2020 (Sixth-Round, 179th overall)
Bjorklund remains idle and is awaiting the start of the WHL season. He’s been essentially without structured games since early March. In the meantime, the Capitals’ sixth-round draft pick in 2020 is keeping sharp in his backyard.

TRENDING:SAME


DANIEL CARR (LW) – 29 – Undrafted
Carr was included in the Capitals’ 36-skater training camp roster. He was the only Capitals prospect loaned to Europe (Lugano) to be recalled from Europe.

Carr was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit, required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12. Carr was officially added to the Capitals’ practice squad on January 13 after he cleared waivers.

Carr practiced with the main group on January 23 and ultimately played in two games for the Capitals, both against the New York Islanders. He recorded an assist and was a plus-1 in the two games.

TRENDING: UP


KODY CLARK (RW) – 21 – Drafted 2018 (Second-Round, 47th overall)
Clark was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on  January 3. He was re-assigned to Hershey on January 11. The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23.

The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: SAME


PHEONIX COPLEY (G) – 29 – Undrafted
Copley attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3. He was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit, required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12.

Copley was officially added to the Capitals’ taxi squad on January 13.

TRENDING: SAME


MARTIN FEHERVARY (LHD) – 21 – Drafted 2018 (Second-Round, 46th overall)
Fehervary was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on  January 3. He was officially added to the Capitals’ practice squad on January 13, and has practiced with the main (Roster) group on a regular basis.

TRENDING: SAME


ZACH FUCALE (G) – 25 – Drafted 2013 (Second-Round, 36th overall – Montreal)
Fucale attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3. He was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit, required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12.

Fucale was officially added to the Capitals’ taxi squad on January 13.

TRENDING: SAME


TOBIAS GEISSER (LHD) – 21 – Drafted 2017 (Fourth-Round, 120th overall)
For the month of January, Geisser played in 10 games, scoring one goal and recording two assists. He scored his goal in the team’s win vs Geneva on January 19. For the year, Geisser has scored two goals and recorded three assists in 28 games.

The team had their games on January 21, January 31, and February 7 postponed due to COVID-19 and there have been adjustments to schedule, as a result.  Their original game on January 12 was also postponed but they played a different opponent that evening instead.

Defensively, Geisser continues to anchor the left side of EV Zug’s top pair. He should be slated for a return to Hershey this fall, or even potentially make an appearance following the conclusion of his season in Europe.

TRENDING: SAME


SHANE GERSICH (LW) – 24 – Drafted 2014 (Fifth-Round, 134th overall)
Gersich attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3. He was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit, required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12. He would clear waivers the following day and was re-assigned to the Hershey Bears.

The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: SAME


MITCHELL GIBSON (G) – 21 – Drafted 2018 (Fourth-Round, 124th overall)
Gibson remains idle, as Harvard’s hockey season was cancelled in its entirety. He has not played since the beginning of March 2020.

TRENDING: SAME


BEAR HUGHES (C) – 19 – Drafted 2020 (Fifth-Round, 148th overall)
Hughes arrived in Fargo on Monday, January 11 and joined the Force while the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) remain in a holding pattern due to COVID-19. The Capitals’ fifth-round draft pick from the 2020 draft has played in eight games for the Fargo Force of the USHL; in those eight contests he has a goal and four assists.

He would add a pair of assists on January 31 against the Stars.

Since joining the Force in early January, Hughes has played his majority of games at second-line center for the Force.

Hughe’s game-by-game breakdown:

TRENDING:SAME


MARTIN HUGO HAS (RHD) – 19 – Drafted 2019 (Fifth-Round, 153rd overall)
Has continued to hold down the right side of the top pair for the Czech Republic in the World Juniors quarterfinals game against Canada.

The Czech Republic was eliminated from the World Junior Championship in the quarterfinals by Team Canada on January 2. Has played in three games, had no points and was an impressive plus-3.

Has, who played in Venice before the World Junior Championships played in four matches in their jersey but will not continue with the team, and is awaiting the restart of the OHL season.

TRENDING: UP


LUCAS JOHANSEN (LHD) – 23 – Drafted 2016 (First-Round, 28th overall)
Johansen attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3 and was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit, required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12. Johansen cleared waivers the following day and was re-assigned to the Hershey Bears.

The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: SAME


AXEL JONSSON-FJALLBY (LW) – 22 – Drafted 2016 (Fifth-Round, 147th overall)
Jonsson-Fjallby wrapped up his loan to Vasterviks early in January, wbere he recorded four goals and 11 assists in 26 games played in the HockeyAllsvenskan league.

According to the Vasterviks team website, Jonsson-Fjallby had been recalled to North America on January 7. The team’s website reported that Jonsson-Fjallby’s last game with Vasterviks IK was on January 8 against MODO.

Jonsson-Fjallby was formally re-assigned to Hershey on January 11. The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: SAME


PAUL LADUE (RHD) – 28 – Drafted 2012 (Sixth-Round, 181st overall – Los Angeles)
LaDue attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3. He was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit, required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12. LaDue cleared waivers and was re-assigned to the Hershey Bears the following day.

The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: SAME


HENDRIX LAPIERRE (C) – 18 – Drafted 2020 (First-Round, 22nd overall)
Lapierre was invited to Capitals training camp which started on January 3 and was subsequently loaned (back) to Chicoutimi of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on January 11.

LaPierre was interviewed by the Quebec Journal following Capitals training camp. “It was an incredible experience and very beneficial for me. Just to see how the players behave and to play at this level, it was very positive,” he told the Quebec Journal on the Monday he was released from Washington, just a few hours before his flight home.

In his first interview following the draft, Lapierre told Capitals media that he had grown up idolizing Alex Ovechkin and even had a giant poster of him in his room. Over the last seven days of his time at training camp, Lapierre played in two scrimmages with his idol.

“I played on the same team as him in both intrasquad games. I introduced myself, we shook hands and talked to each other a little. It was a little weird because I’ve been watching him on television for 10 or 15 years. It was special to see him and shake his hand, but at the same time, I was there for a reason. I am part of the same organization.”

More of the interview here.

LaPierre would quarantine for another two weeks when he returned home. Lapierre told the Quebec Journal he will have quarantined for a total of 49 days since last November. More here.

LaPierre returned to the lineup on January 30, at left wing on the top line for Chicoutimi.

LaPierre recorded a goal and two assists in his first game back with Chicoutimi on January 30.

TRENDING: UP


BRETT LEASON (RW) – 21 – Drafted 2019 (Second-Round, 56th overall)
Leason was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on  January 3. He was re-assigned to Hershey on January 11.

The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: SAME


BENTON MAASS (RHD) – 22 – Drafted 2017 (Sixth-Round, 182nd overall)
Maass and the University of New Hampshire had a quiet month of January, winning just one of 10 games. Defensively Maass has been solid, holding down the right side of the second pair. In the two games we watched it was clear he’s become more responsible on the back end, and his physical game has stepped up this season. Maass was held off of the score sheet for the month.

TRENDING: SAME


OSKAR MAGNUSSON (C/RW) – 19 – Drafted 2020 (Seventh-Round, 211th overall)
In 2020-21, Magnusson primarily played for the Malmo Redhawks at various levels until being lent to Tyringe SoSS in the HockeyEttan (third-tier Swedish League) where he could get more playing time.

Magnusson played five games in January and scored one goal and recorded one assist. He scored his goal during a 5-3 loss against Kalmar on January 17.

For the season thus far, he has played 14 games, scoring four goals and recording four assists.

Tyringe SoSS had their game on January 24 cancelled due to COVID-19 but were able to resume play on January 28 since all players had tested negative.

Magnusson played with Malmo’s Under-20 Junior team for 12 games, scoring three goals with six assists. He played seven games with the Malmo Redhawks of the Swedish Elite League this season, with no goals or assists.

TRENDING: SAME


PHILIPPE MAILLET (C) – 28 – Undrafted
Maillet attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3. He was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit, required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12.

Maillet was officially added to the Capitals’ taxi squad on January 13. The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. He was recalled to the Capitals’ taxi squad on January 30, due to the injuries to Lars Eller and Brian Pinho.

TRENDING: UP


BECK MALENSTYN (LW) – 22 – Drafted 2016 (Fifth-Round, 145th overall)
Malenstyn underwent a successful surgery to repair an Achilles tendon in early December. Malenstyn sustained his injury while training in Vancouver. Based on the nature of this injury, Malenstyn is expected to miss 6-8 months.

TRENDING: SAME


CONNOR MCMICHAEL (C/RW) – 20 – Drafted 2019 (First-Round, 25th overall)
McMichael once again centered the top line in Team Canada’s World Juniors quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic.

McMichael had a nice flip pass to open ice for a primary assist on Canada’s first goal of the game.

McMichael would add an empty-net goal late in the game to stretch Canada’s,lead to 3-0.

He had a goal and an assist in the game, giving him three goals and and four assists in five games played in the tournament. The win set up a Canada-Russia semi-final.

In the semi-final, McMichael scored Canada’s second goal in 5-0 blanking of Team Russia, advancing to the Gold Medal game.

McMichael and Team Canada finished the tournament with a 2-o loss to the United States in the gold medal game on January 5.

McMichael finished the tournament with four goals and four assists (8 points) in seven games played and recorded 27 shots for a shooting percentage of 14.8%. Last year McMichael recorded five goals and two assists (7 points) in seven games played.

McMichael arrived in Washington the week of January 11 and began his mandatory seven-day quarantine.

McMichael was officially added to the Capitals’ taxi squad on January 21 and skated with the first team in practice that morning. McMichael said that “It was good to get out with the team again” after getting out of a seven-day quarantine.

The 20-year-old said that he went home for a night after the tournament ended, flew to Washington the next day, and skated at MedStar Capitals Iceplex while the team was at the end of their season-opening four-game road trip.

McMichael called being around the team and looking up to the NHL players on the Capitals “pretty cool. There’s a lot of great guys here. … It’s cool to talk to those guys a little bit,” he said.

McMichael practiced with the main group January 21-23.  He made his NHL debut on January 24 against the Buffalo Sabres.

He was re-assigned from the Capitals’ taxi squad to their American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears on January 30.

TRENDING: UP


BOBBY NARDELLA (LHD) – 24 – Undrafted
Nardella continues to hold down the left side of the second defensive pair for Djurgarden. He has been with the team for pretty much the entire season. On occasion he will play top pair minutes.

Nardella has been on a hot streak offensively in the month of January.

Nardella recorded his fourth goal of the season on January 12 and played a game-high 23:34. Nardella now has two goals and three assists in the last five games and now has four goals and 14 assists in 25 games for Djurgarden.

Nardella continued his hot streak with another goal on January 22.

For the month of January, offensively Nardella recorded three goals and eight assists in 13 games. Nardella’s game stats from January:

For the season, Nardella has five goals and 18 assists in 33 games played. He is 11th in the SHL in total points among defensemen and second overall in total points for Djurgarden.

TRENDING: UP


GARRETT PILON (C) – 22 – Drafted 2016 (Third-Round, 87th overall)
Pilon was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on  January 3. He was re-assigned to Hershey on January 11.

The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

Pilon met with Bears media on January 25:

TRENDING: SAME


BRIAN PINHO (C) – 25 – Drafted 2013 (Sixth-Round, 176th overall)
Pinho was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on  January 3. Pinho was officially added to the Capitals’ taxi squad on January 13. 

Pinho was recalled from the taxi squad on January 22 and played against the Sabres on January 22. He played in two games for the Capitals (Sabres on January 22 and 24) but was injured in the second game.

Pinho has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury for the last week of January.

TRENDING: UP


ALIAKSEI PROTAS (C) – 20 – Drafted 2019 (Third-Round, 91st overall)
Protas was not recalled to attend the Capitals’ training camp in mid-January. Protas, who ended December centering the fourth-line for Dinamo Minsk, was elevated to center the third-line for the first game of the month on January 3, but returned to the fourth-line for the second game of the month on January 5 and remained there for the entire month; Protas turned 2o on January 6.

Protas dropped down to the fourth-line again on January 9 against Dynamo Moscow, as Minsk would lose the game 2-0. He finally returned to the goal-scoring department on January 29; it was his first goal since November 19.

For the month of January, Protas recorded one goal and two assists in 12 games played. He recorded just 11 shots on goal and 18 shot attempts in the 12 games played.

Protas’ game-by-game stats. (Click to enlarge)

Protas may be tiring. We saw a dip in his numbers during the second half of last season with the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) as well.

Protas’ shot characteristics for the season:

Game-By-Game Advanced stats for the season (Click to enlarge)

Game-By-Game Advanced stats for the season (Click to enlarge)

TRENDING: SAME


DAMIEN RIAT (RW) -23- DRAFTED 2016 (Fourth-Round 117th overall)
Riat was previously confirmed to be recalled by the Capitals for training camp in January, but a late change had him stay in Europe.

Riat would notch two more goals on January 7 against Legano. Riat’s first goal came early in the contest to give Geneve-Servette a 2-1 lead. Former Washington Capital Daniel Winnik found Riat sitting unfettered in front of the net.

Riat’s second goal highlighted his excellent shooting skills, going top-right corner from the right circle.

Lugano would win the game, 7-3.

Riat would play just 38 seconds of the January 8t ame between Geneve-Servette and Lugano. Riat would exit the ice, serving a match penalty for checking Lugano defender Elia Riva headlong into the boards.

As a result of the play, Riat was subsequently suspended for seven games and fined 6,000 Francs (about $6,740), including procedural costs. As it turns out, it would be his last game for Geneve-Servette.

Lematin.ch reported on January 27 that Riat had been recalled by the Capitals and will be reporting to Hershey for the start of the AHL season. The Bears confirmed the recall on January 29.

The Bears begin their 2020-21 campaign on February 5.

TRENDING: UP


KRISTIAN ROYKAS-MARTHINSEN (LW) -21- Drafted 2017 (Seventh-Round, 213th overall)

Roykas-Marthinsen has totaled 11 goals and 6 assists in 28 games played so far this season for HC-Dalen.

He has played in 29 games for HC Dalen in HockeyEttan (third-tier Swedish League). So far, he has scored 11 goals and recorded seven assists for 18 points overall during the 2020-21 season. He scored two power plays goals to open up the scoring in their 6-1 win against Visby/Roma on January 8. His team had their game of January 31 postponed due to COVID-19.

TRENDING: UP


CAMERON SCHILLING (LHD) -32- Undrafted
Schilling attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3. He would score the camp’s first goal in the team’s first training camp scrimmage.

He was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12.

He was officially re-assigned to Hershey the following day. The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: UP


MICHAEL SGARBOSSA (C) -28- Undrafted
Sgarbossa attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3r.He was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12. He was assigned to the Capitals’ taxi squad the following day.

Sgarbossa was recalled from the taxi squad on January 26, due to injuries to Lars Eller and Brian Pinho.  He has played in three games for the Capitals and has an assist.

TRENDING: UP


JOE SNIVELY (LW) -25- Undrafted
Snively was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on  January 3. He would make a nice play for a goal in the camp’s first scrimmage.

He was re-assigned to Hershey on January 11. The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: UP


DANIEL SPRONG (RW/LW) -23- Drafted 2015 (Second-Round, 46th overall, Pittsburgh)
Sprong was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on  January 3. He was officially added to the Capitals opening roster and has played in seven games. He’s scored a goal and an assist and is a minus-2.

Sprong has demonstrated his NHL-caliber shot already, when he scored his first goal. His defense is still in question (one of the reasons he was traded from both of his previous two teams) Ultimately if his Plus/Minus (and CF%, xGF%) continues to increase in the negative direction, it could be an issue. He has 20 NHL goals and is a minus-19 for his career. For now he will hold on to the 13F position.

TRENDING: UP


RILEY SUTTER (RW) -21- Drafted 2018 (Third-Round, 93rd overall)
Sutter was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on  January 3. He was re-assigned to Hershey on January 11.

The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season begins for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.

TRENDING: SAME


BOGDAN TRINEYEV (LW) -18- Drafted 2020 (Fourth-Round, 117th overall)
For the month of January, Trineyev played in six games at the VHL (Second-Tier) level, scoring no goals and recording no assists.  At the VHL level this year so far, he has played in 23 games thus far, scoring one goal and recording one assist for two points overall and is minus-3. He has averaged 11.41 minutes in ice time per game.

Trineyev has also played in one MHL game during the month of January and recorded no points. Overall, his totals for the season at the MHL level are six goals and five assists in 17 games.

Trineyev played in no KHL games during January. So far, this year, he has played three games in the KHL.

Goal From 2/1/2020

TRENDING: UP


SEBASTIAN WALFRIDSSON (LHD) -21- Drafted 2017 (Fifth-Round, 171st overall)
Walfridsson recorded an assist in a 2-1 loss in a home match against Huddinge on January 22 and also got penalized for a late hit.  He scored a power play goal which put his team ahead 3-2 in a game against the Nybro Vikings at home on January 30 that they ultimately lost 5-4 in a shootout.

For the season, Walfridsson has played in 30 games with four goals and six assists.

TRENDING: SAME


By NoVa Caps Prospect Analysis Team

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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2 Responses to Washington Capitals Prospect Report – January, 2021: Alex Alexeyev, Bobby Nardella And Hendrix LaPierre Heat Up

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hard to believe Nardella was undrafted. Maybe it’s strictly related to his size. He certainly has pro-level skills

  2. Pingback: Wednesday Caps Clips: Vane-best

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