Photo: André Émond
Hendrix Lapierre has had an on and off season since he was drafted by the Capitals in the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. On and off with regards to playing time, that is. The 19-year old started the 2020-21 season in the QMJHL, then participated in Team Canada’s World Junior’s camp in December, which was followed up with the Washington Capitals training camp in January. Unfortunately, each step along the way has also required a lengthy quarantine period.
Lapierre is currently playing games inside a bubble in Quebec for Chicoutimi of the QMJHL. The team plays four or five games in six or seven days, then has a week off for rest and practice. Unfortunately, the last team they played had COVID cases surface, resulting in yet another quarantine period for Lapierre, his 5th quarantine (63 days) since last November.
On the ice this season, Lapierre has four goals and eight assists in seven games. He says he just needs more games right now. He’s played in just 25 games over the last two seasons.
“It’s going ok, I think. I’ve had some good games, I’ve had some tougher ones. I think the main thing right now, for me, is just to start playing games on a regular basis. I’m kinda playing games and then stopping for a month, then playing two games and then stopping again. So I think for me, I only played 18 games last year, my draft year, for me it’s just about playing games right now. Get back in that rhythm of playing,” said Lapierre on the Showbound Podcast.
Lapierre said that he was surprised when he heard he was drafted by Washington, his favorite team growing up.
“I was really happy to go to Washington. Kind of surprised, but really happy… I wasn’t expecting it because I really didn’t talk to them much, compared to other teams,” said Lapierre.
“When New York drafted at #19, I was like, ‘maybe that could be me,’ I had a lot of interviews with New York and I think they went well…When Washington traded for #22, honestly I wasn’t really thinking it was going to be me and then they drafted me, which was pretty special.”
Lapierre made his first trip to MedStar Capitals Iceplex for Capitals training camp back in January. He said it was pretty special for him.
“It was awesome, it was a great experience. When I arrived in Washington, there ‘s like a hotel that the guys go to all the time that’s right beside the rink…The rink is on the 8th floor of a mall. So you’re at the hotel and you just walk to the mall and take the elevator to the rink, you see the Caps logo and the rink, so that was pretty special. For me, just having that first look…Just to see those guys of course. Ovechkin was one of my favorite players growing up. Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Oshie, all of those guys, all of those players are really amazing.”
You can listen to the entire interview with Lapierre below.
By Jon Sorensen
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