Connor McMichael On Working With Veteran Matt Mouslon: “It’s Great Working With ‘Mouls’, He’s A Great Mentor”

Washington Capitals forward prospect Connor McMichael met with the media Wednesday morning for the first time since being re-assigned to the Hershey Bears on January 30. McMichael made his AHL debut on Saturday against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Since arriving in Hershey, McMichael has been assigned to NHL and AHL veteran Matt Moulson, both on and off the ice. McMichael centered the second line with Moulson and Capitals’ prospect Kody Clark in the Bears season opener against Lehigh Valley on Saturday night.

“There’s a lot of positives working with ‘Mouls’ and obviously ‘Clarky’ on our line too. He works with me and ‘Clarky’ a lot after practice. He kind of gives us tips on what he went through in the NHL, or certain plays that maybe we made a mistake on, he corrects us right away. It’s great working with Mouls, he’s a great mentor. Me and ‘Clarky’, especially, are fortunate enough to have him on our line.”

It’s been said many times that the biggest jump in hockey is going from juniors to the pro level. McMichael doesn’t seem phased by the leap and Matt Moulson has been a big help in getting him up to speed.

“Everyone here was a top player in juniors, so you might have had more touches of the puck, or a lot more time and space. Then when you make the jump, there’s less time and space, guys are bigger, faster. You’re gonna have to use your head a little bit more on your feet. ‘Mouls’ has been great with that. Given us a lot of advice. Like I said earlier, we’re really fortunate to have him.”

Moulson, 37, was asked about working and playing with McMichael following Saturday’s season opener against the Phantoms.

Making the jump to the pro level early, McMichael understands the experience he will gain while in Hershey will be invaluable.

“Making the jump to pro early, it’s gonna benefit me a lot. Just that extra year, it’s amazing. Like I was talking about earlier with ‘Mouls’, even when I was up in Washington working with those guys, just experience. It’s great to have experience in pro hockey so when you get older you have a little more experience. You’ll be ready to play as soon as you can.”

McMichael also realizes there is plenty of work to be done while in Hershey and he has a plan for improving his game.

“I know it’s cliche, a lot of people say they got to get bigger and stronger, and that’s for sure. The biggest thing for me, the jump from junior to pro, everyone’s bigger, faster stronger. You gotta be able to win puck battles. Puck possession is a really big thing in the pro level. To create opportunities for yourself, to score goals, or defend. I wanna get bigger and stronger and a little bit faster, and I think I’m able to get that done down here in Hershey.”

Connor McMichael and the Hershey Bears are back on the ice on Thursday when they visit the Penguins in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Puck drop is 5:00 p.m.

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 Civil 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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