Washington Capitals Prospect Report – April, 2021: Connor McMichael, Alex Alexeyev Continue Hot Streak

Welcome to the eighth installment of our Washington Capitals Monthly Prospects Report for the 2020-2021 season. This report summarizes activities for each of the Capitals’ prospects for the month of April, 2021. 

Monthly Prospect Reports

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


April was a good month for the Hershey Bears. The chocolate and white dropped only one game in the month and finished April with a 7-1 record. The Bears are 18-6-2 on the season and sit atop the American Hockey League’s (AHL) North Division with a point percentage of .731. Hershey has 38 points on the season.

The Bears have played more games, 26, than anyone in the North Division, but have surrendered the fewest goals of any team in the division. Hershey has given up a total of 64 goals on the season. The penalty kill has slipped to 10th in the AHL, with a kill percentage of 82.6. However, the Bears are tied for the league lead with six shorthanded goals.

Offensively, Hershey is paced by Matt Moulson. The veteran winger has amassed a team high 19 points. He is also tied for the team lead in goals with 10. Rookie Connor McMichael is the other player with 10 goals. McMichael is second on the team in scoring with 18 points and has tallied a team best five game-winning goals. Martin Fehervary and Cameron Schilling have formed a dynamic duo on the blue line, combining for 25 assists.

Alex Alexeyev (LD) – 21 – Drafted 2018 (First Round, 31st overall)
After a successful season in the KHL, Alexeyev rejoined the Bears and made his season debut against Binghamton on April 17 and made an immediate impact. He gathered the puck at the blue line on the right side and carried the puck down the boards behind the net. He skated around the net to the far side near the left boards. Alexeyev then backhanded a cross-ice pass to Shane Gersich that he converted for a goal from inside the right circle.

The second-year blue liner came up clutch on April 24. He lasered a wrist shot in with 3:30 left in the game to score the deciding goal in a 3-1 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

He added an assist on the empty net goal to finish with a multi-point game. The St. Petersburg, Russia native also collected an assist in his last two games of the month. He is currently on a three-game point streak. Alexeyev’s time in the KHL has given a new confidence and maturity to his game.

Alexeyev has fit right back into the locker room and he recently said that he is happy to have returned to the Bears. “It’s awesome actually to be back. I missed the boys,” Alexeyev said in his postgame media availability on Saturday. “I missed Hershey, just an amazing atmosphere in here, in the Giant Center and in the dressing room. I missed all of them.”

Even after only a single game, Hershey head coach Spencer Carbery noticed the growth in the play of his defenseman. “There’s a bit of a maturation in his game. He seems a little more mature and more focused.” Carbery said of Alexeyev in an interview with Zach Fisch. “He just has this competitive vibe in him throughout practices. He still has that fun personality and great smile, that hasn’t changed, but now when the puck drops and we get into drills and you saw it in the game, he’s got a real determination in his game right now that seems like it is maturing. His game spoke for that. I though he was really, really solid.” More on Alexeyev here.


KODY CLARK (RW) – 21 – Drafted 2018 (Second Round, 47th overall)
The second-year winger was having a good sophomore campaign. He had surpassed his goal total from last season with seven tallies and equaled his point total with nine. Unfortunately for Clark, he was bitten by the injury bug in April. He suffered an injury in the month’s opening game on April 3 and missed the rest of the month.


PHEONIX COPLEY (G) – 29 – Undrafted
Copley stated five of Hershey’s eight games in April. He won his first four starts to run up his win streak to six games. The North Pole, Alaska native started the month off by turning aside 29 shots in a 4-2 victory over Binghamton on April 3. Fourteen of those saves came in the second period when the Bears were outshot 14 to 5. In his post-game press conference, head coach Spencer Carbery credited Copley with making, “a handful of unbelievable, 10-out-of-10 saves” in the game.

In his next start, the Michigan Tech product stopped all 21 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the season in a 2-0 triumph over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

For the season, Copley is 8-3-1-1 with a .897 save percentage and a 2.58 goals against average.


MARTIN FEHERVARY (LHD) – 21- Drafted 2018 (Second Round, 46th overall)
After a slow start to the season, Fehervary has really found his stride in the last two months. The Slovak defenseman followed up his eight point March by compiling six points in April. He ended the month on a four-game point streak that saw him score one goal and record an assist in each game.

The native of Bratislava, Slovakia tallied the game winning-goal in Hershey’s 6-3 win over Binghamton April 17.

Fehervary leads the Bears with 13 assists. Those 13 assists place him in a tie for the fifth among all AHL defensemen.

He has 16 points on the season, tied for second on the Hershey scoring list. He is also tied for sixth on the AHL defensemen scoring list. Fehervary has been a steady presence defensively and leads the Bears in plus/minus with a plus 11 rating. The Slovak has not been a minus player in a game since March 21.


ZACH FUCALE (G) – 25 – Drafted 2013 (Second-Round, 36th overall – Montreal)
Fucale made three starts for the Bears in April and was victorious in all three. The Laval, Quebec native’s best game of the month came on April 24 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He made 31 saves in a 3-1 Hershey win and was named the game’s number one start. His biggest stop came with 5:51 remaining in regulation. Jonathan Gruden was awarded a penalty shot. Fucale made a glove save on Gruden’s wrist shot to keep the game tied at one. Alex Alexeyev would score the game winning goal two minutes and 21 seconds later.

Fucale continues to lead the AHL with a 1.78 goals against average. His .933 save percentage is tied for second in the league and is the top percentage among goalies currently playing in the AHL.


SHANE GERSICH (LW) – 24 – Drafted 2014 (Fifth-Round, 134th overall)
For the second consecutive month, Gersich found the back of the net three times. He has six goals on the season. His first goal of the month came against Binghamton on April 7. He took a feed from Riley Sutter and skated into the zone. The North Dakota product ripped a shot from the left circle to give the Bears a 2-1 lead late in the first period.

Gersich then tallied his second goal of the month on April 17, again against Binghamton, by converting from a nice setup by Alex Alexeyev.

The native of Chaska, Minnesota recorded his first multi-point game of the season versus Lehigh Valley on April 21. He deposited his own rebound for the opening goal of the game and then setup Brett Leason for a shorthanded goal in the third period.

Gersich has six goals and four assists in 26 games played so for this season. He’s recorded 32 shots on the season for an 18.8% shooting percentage, his best rate so far with the Bears. He just needs to shoot more.


LUCAS JOHANSEN (LHD) – 23 – Drafted 2016 (First-Round, 28th overall)
Johansen remains sidelined by the upper body injury he suffered on February 20 in a game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The native of Vancouver, British Columbia has only played in five games this season and time is running out for him to get more game action.


AXEL JONSSON-FJALLBY (LW) – 22 – Drafted 2016 (Fifth-Round, 147th overall)
Jonsson-Fjallby started the month off recording his the first three-point game of his AHL career when he dished out three assists in a game against Binghamton.

The Swedish winger skated in his 100th career AHL game at Lehigh Valley on April 21. He marked the occasion by scoring a goal off of a great individual effort. He collected the puck in his own zone and skated into the Bears offensive zone. Jonsson-Fjallby then wristed a low shot into the net.

The goal kickstarted a three-game goal streak for the speedy winger. In his next game, the Swede broke the deadlock in a scoreless game early in the third period against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 24. He shoveled a loose puck in to start the scoring in a game the Bears would eventually win 3-1.

He then tallied his team-best second shorthanded goal on April 25 after he used his speed to blow past the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defense and wrist home his shot.

Jonsson-Fjallby’s speed is a big weapon, especially on the penalty kill. He is one of the biggest reasons Hershey is tied for the AHL lead in shorthanded goals. He leads the team with two shorthanded tallies and is tied for sixth in the league in that category. Jonsson-Fjallby also has a shorthanded assist.

Jonsson-Fjallby has seven goals and five assists in 26 games played so far this season.  He’s taken 44 shots for a 15.9% shooting percentage, his nest rate so far in the AHL.


PAUL LADUE (RHD) – 28 – Drafted 2012 (Sixth-Round, 181st overall – Los Angeles)
Ladue was summoned to the Washington taxi squad after the NHL trade deadline that saw the Capitals trade Jonas Seigenthaler to New Jersey. As a result, the North Dakota product only played in three games for the Bears in April. He was held scoreless in those three contests. Ladue has two goals and four assists this season for Hershey.


BRETT LEASON (RW) – 22 – Drafted 2019 (Second-Round, 56th overall)
Leason’s strong sophomore season continued in April. The Calgary, Alberta native registered a point in six of the eight games in the month.

He started the month with a five-game point streak. The second-year winger dished out an assist in the first four games of his streak, including the primary assist on Joe Snively’s game-winner against Binghamton on April 7.

Leason tallied Hershey’s first goal against Binghamton on April 17. He finished off a well-executed give-and-go with Aliaksei Protas.

Leason added a shorthanded goal against Lehigh Valley on April 21 to bring his season total to six, double the amount of goals he scored in his rookie campaign.

Leason has also equaled his point total from last season and did so in 24 fewer games. He has six goals and eight assists in 26 games played so far this season. He has 51 shots for a 11.8% shooting percentage, more than double last season’s rate.


Maillet missed the opening game of the month and was then held scoreless in his first two games of April. The Montreal, Quebec rebounded to finish the month on a five-game point streak.

He recorded a two-assist game on April 17 when he picked up helpers on third period goals by Cameron Schilling and Brian Pinho, which was followed with another multi-point game on April 21 versus Lehigh Valley. He had the secondary assist on Conner McMichael’s first period power play goal and then tallied his second goal of the season on the power play in the third when he wristed a shot past Felix Sandstrom.

Maillet assisted on Pinho’s empty netter in his next game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and then opened the scoring on April 25 with a power play goal against the same opponent.

The pivot closed out the month with another multi-point game in a 4-3 shootout victory over Binghamton in Newark, New Jersey. He set up Matt Moulson’s goal in the second and netted a power play goal in the third that gave the Bears a lead.

On the season, Maillet has 16 points in 11 games and that puts him in a tie for third on the team scoring list. His 12 assists are tied for the second most on the team. He’s made 31 shots for a 12.9% shooting percentage, the second-highest rate of his AHL career (2017-18 at 13.5%)


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.


CONNOR MCMICHAEL (C/RW) – 20 – Drafted 2019 (First-Round, 25th overall)
April was McMichael’s most productive month of the season. The rookie pivot compiled eight points for the month. He kicked off the month by tallying twice in a 4-2 win over Binghamton.

He netted the opening goal of the game early in the first period off a rebound and then scored the game-winner late in the third.

McMichael wristed a shot high on Gilles Senn with 3:14 left in the contest.

The Ajax, Ontario native picked up an assist in his next game, but went scoreless in his next two games.

McMichael responded with his fourth multi-goal game of the season on April 21 against Lehigh Valley. He netted Hershey’s second and third goals on the game, both on the power play.

His second power play tally:

McMichael also added an assist on Philippe Maillet’s third period goal. He finished the month by registering an assist in the last game of the month.

McMichael leads the Bears with five game-winning goals. That total is tied for the most in the AHL. He sits second on the Hershey scoring list with 18 points and is tied for the team lead in goals with 10.

McMichael has 10 goals and eight assists in 26 games. He’s recorded 100 shots for a 10.0% shooting percentage.


GARRETT PILON (C) – 22 – Drafted 2016 (Third-Round, 87th overall)
Pilon was re-called to the Capitals taxi squad on March 23 and has been on the taxi squad since then.


BRIAN PINHO – (C/RW) – 25 – Drafted 2013 (Sixth Round, 174th overall)
Pinho netted five goals in the six games he played in April. He has eight goals for the season in 10 games. Five of his goals are empty net goals, the most by a Bear since Chris Bourque deposited six into the open goal during the 2015-16 season. Pinho gets his empty net goals because he is a responsible player in his own end that the coaching staff trusts.

On April 17 against Binghamton, the Providence College product scored two goals and added an assist for his second three-point game of the season.

Pinho put in an empty netter to seal the win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 24, but a hit he took earlier in the game would sideline him for Hershey’s last two games of the month.

Pinho has eight goals and four assists in just ten games played for the Bears. He’s shot just 23 times for a 34.8% shooting percentage.


ALIAKSEI PROTAS (C) – 20 – Drafted 2019 (Third Round, 91st overall)
The rookie pivot from Belarus got off to a good start in his AHL career. In his first month as an AHL player, Protas posted a three-game point streak from April 7 to April 17. He picked up his first AHL point when he had the secondary assist on Joe Snively’s game-winning goal against Binghamton on April 7.

Protas netted his first AHL goal in the opening period against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 11. He collected the puck out front after a tap feed from Joe Snively and snapped a low shot in to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.

It would prove to be the game-winning tally. In his next game on April 17, Protas recorded his first two-point game in the AHL when he dished out a pair of assists against Binghamton. He would go scoreless in his last four games of the month.


DAMIEN RIAT (RW) -23- DRAFTED 2016 (Fourth-Round 117th overall)
Riat picked up an assist on Connor McMichael’s opening goal against Binghamton on April 3 to run his assist streak to three games. The rookie out of Switzerland would go scoreless in his next four games and would only score one point the rest of the month.

That point was a helper on Axel Jonsson-Fjallby’s third period goal against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 24. Riat was quiet offensively during April and there are times where he is not noticeable on the ice.

Riat has two goals and six assists in 26 games played so far this season. He’s recorded 31 shots for a 6.5% shooting percentage.


Schilling posted his most productive offensive month of the season in April. The veteran blue liner amassed seven points in the month. He ended a 15-game goal scoring drought with a second period marker against the Binghamton Devils on April 3.

The Carmel, Indiana native potted his third goal of the season against those same Devils on April 17. It was also his first power play goal of the season.

In his next game, Schilling had a career night. He dished out three power play assists to give him the first three-point game of his AHL career. He is tied for second on the team in assists with 12 and leads the Bears with eight power play assists. His eight power play assists put him in a tie for fifth in the AHL in that category (tied for second among all AHL defensemen). Schilling plays in all situations and sees a lot of ice time. He is second on the team in plus/minus with a rating of plus 10.


MIKE SGARBOSSA – (C) -28- Undrafted
Sgarbossa and Garrett Pilon were re-assigned to the Capitals taxi squad on the Capitals taxi squad.


JOE SNIVELY (LW) -25- Undrafted|
After a seven-point month in March, the Herndon, Virginia native cooled off a little bit in April. Part of that was due to Snively missing a week due to injury. He potted his fifth goal of the season on April 7 against Binghamton when deposited a rebound from a Brett Leason shot into the net.

Snively registered a helper in his next game when he picked up the primary assist on Aliaksei Protas’ opening goal. After going scoreless in a game against Binghamton, the Yale University product was then injured in practice and missed Hershey’s next three games. He returned for the final game of the month and had a secondary assist on Matt Moulson’s second period power play goal.


RILEY SUTTER (RW) -21- Drafted 2018 (Third-Round, 93rd overall) Entering the month with three points on the season, Sutter surpassed that amount in April. He dished out four assists in the month to up his season point total to seven.

The Calgary, Alberta native recorded his second shorthanded assist at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 25. He stole the puck and fluttered a pass up ahead that Axel Jonsson-Fjallby sped onto and converted for a shorthanded tally.

The son of former NHL center Ron Sutter registered a two-assist game in a 6-3 win over Binghamton on April 17. He had a secondary assist on Shane Gersich’s goal that started a three-goal barrage late in the second period and also picked up a helper on Brian Pinho’s marker. Sutter has been playing with more confidence in all aspects of his game.



GARIN BJORKLUND (G) – 18 – Drafted 2020 (Sixth-Round, 179th overall)
Bjorklund was 4-3-0-1 in eight starts in the month of April. He was named the third star of the game on April 29.

For the season, Bjorklund is 9-6-0-1 with a .919 save percentage and a 2.67 GAA in 16 games played. Bjorklund has the ninth best save percentage in the Western Hockey League.


MARTIN HUGO HAS (RHD) – 19 – Drafted 2019 (Fifth-Round, 153rd overall)
Hugo Has continues to idle following his appearance in the 2021 World Juniors Tournament. It’s likely he will report to the Guelph Storm, if and when the CHL/OHL begin their season.


HENDRIX LAPIERRE (C) – 19 – Drafted 2020 (First-Round, 22nd overall)

For the month of April, Hendrix LaPierre played in three playoff games as his team, Chicoutimi Saguenéens, beat the Sherbrooke Phoenix three games to none in their best of five series in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

For the series, LaPierre scored two goals and three assists. He scored goals in the games of April 23 and April 24.

In the game on April 26, he scored no goals but had three assists. His team has advanced to the second round of the QMJHL playoffs. His playoff totals are two goals and three assists in three games.

Lapierre has played in just one regular season game during April and did not record any points.

His totals for the regular season were 8 goals and 23 assists in 21 games, a season that was shorter than normal thanks to the pandemic and related quarantines. He was second on his team in points and first on his team in assists for the regular season.



BOGDAN TRINEYEV (LW) -18- Drafted 2020 (Fourth-Round, 117th overall)
Bogdan Trineyev played in 14 postseason games, scoring three goals and recording six assists for nine points overall during the playoff run for JHC Dynamo Moscow.

Dynamo ultimately won the Kharlamov Cup for being the champions of the MHL, the Russian Junior Hockey League.

For the regular season in the MHL, Trineyev played in 33 games, scoring 15 goals and recording 15 assists for 30 points.

He also played in 22 games at the VHL level for Dynamo, scoring one goal and recording one assist. He even got into three games for Moscow Dynamo at the KHL level.



TOBIAS GEISSER (LHD) – 21 – Drafted 2017 (Fourth-Round, 120th overall)
For April, Geisser played in five games to complete the regular season with HC EV Zug in the National League (Switzerland). He scored no goals but contributed 17 assists.

For the playoffs, which included a Quarter Final series and a Semi-Final Series, he has played in six games and scored one goal with no assists. He earned an empty net goal in their game against SC Bern on April 21 with 4 seconds left in regulation. The final score in the game was 5-2.

EV Zug ultimately defeated SC Bern in six games and the team moved on to play SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers in the semi-finals.

For the 2020-21 regular season, he has played in 50 games, has scored five goals with 17 assists.


OSKAR MAGNUSSON (C/RW) – 19 – Drafted 2020 (Seventh-Round, 211th overall)
Oskar Magnusson played in six games for Tyringe SoSS of the HockeyEttan League in the relegation round.  He scored one goal in the game against Tranås AIF on April 2.  Magnusson scored three goals in six games during the relegation round that took place in late March and April.  The other two goals were in March.

Magnusson played 24 games with Tyringe SoSS during the 2020-21 regular season, scoring six goals and recording seven assists.

He also played with the Malmo Redhawks 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.


SEBASTIAN WALFRIDSSON (LHD) -21- Drafted 2017 (Fifth-Round, 171st overall)
Sebastian Walfridsson, who played for HC Visby Roma of the HockeyEttan League, played in a total of six games during the qualification round prior to the playoffs. He recorded a total of three assists.

Walfridsson had an assist on the game winning goal that Alex Ek scored on April 3. On April 6, he assisted on a goal that tied the game at 1-1 during the second period in a game that Visby Roma went onto lose 4-1.

On April 9, Walfridsson assisted on the first goal the team scored late in the first period in a game that Visby Roma went on to lost 5-2, as they were eliminated from the playoffs.

For the 2020-21 regular season, Walfridsson played in 40 games with 5 goals and 7 assists.


BOBBY NARDELLA (LHD) – 24 – Undrafted

Bobby Nardella, who played for Djurgården of the Swedish Elite League, played in three playoff games during April, as his team was eliminated by the Frolunda Hockey Club in the three game qualifying series. He had an assist on April 7.

Nardella was officially re-assigned to the Hershey Bears in mid-April, but will not play for the Bears this season due to injury.

For the  2020-21 regular season, he played in 47 games for Djurgarden, scoring 7 goals and recording 26 assists for 33 points overall.


KRISTIAN ROYKAS-MARTHINSEN (LW) -21- Drafted 2017 (Seventh-Round, 213th overall)
Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen, who played for HC Dalen of the HockeyEttan League, did not play at all in April, as his team was eliminated by Mariestad in late March. He had played in two games in the qualification series and did not score or record an assist.

For the 2020-21 regular season, Roykas-Marthinsen played in 40 games, scored 14 goals and recorded 7 assists for 21 points.  He and his brother both signed contract extensions with HC Dalen.



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.


BEAR HUGHES (C) – 19 – Drafted 2020 (Fifth-Round, 148th overall)
Hughes continues to center the second line for the Fargo Force. For the month of April Hughes had just one goal and three assists in eight games played. His lone goal came on April 15 against against Waterloo.

April 15:

For the season, Hughes has nine goals and 15 assists in 35 games played. He’s recorded 67 shots for a 13.4% shooting percentage.

The Fargo Force began the Clark Cup playoffs in April 30.


BENTON MAASS (RHD) – 22 – Drafted 2017 (Sixth-Round, 182nd overall)

Maass entered the transfer portal on April 2. It is likely Benton is trying to keep all his options open including using his 5th year of eligibility to hookup with a program that’s a contender for winning the National Championship.

Also, he is a high end student who could be looking for a particular grad school opportunity. Benton leaving UNH works for him and the coaching staff. The +/- numbers for the Dcore was not good this year and the penalty kill was not good at all.

Benton is the only defenseman on the roster who is a graduating senior. The coaches need him to move on so they can bring in a couple of committed defensemen who have terrific +/- numbers in the USHL. So whether Benton goes to another college program next year or works out a contract with the Capitals organization remains to be seen.

On April 12 Maass announced on his Instagram account that he will use his fifth season of eligibility at the University of Minnesota-Mankato.


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 interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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7 Responses to Washington Capitals Prospect Report – April, 2021: Connor McMichael, Alex Alexeyev Continue Hot Streak

  1. Anonymous says:

    Excellent report, as always. Thank you, NoVa Caps!

  2. redLitYogi says:


  3. Novafyre says:

    I watch the ECHL as well and team radio coverage (which is what FloHockey uses) constantly talks about the echl-ahl-nhl pipeline yet you never cover anyone in the Stingrays. Why not?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      We just cover Washington Capitals prospects. While occasionally a Caps prospect will play in ECHL, the occurrence is extremely rare. However, if a prospect does play in ECHL (or anywhere for that matter) we will cover it.

      • Novafyre says:

        Understood. But the Stingrays are part of the Caps hierarchy, and most Caps goalies have passed through the Rays.

        So what you are saying is that this year, no Caps prospects are playing in North Charleston? If true, interesting, because Preds prospects are in Everblades and Bolts prospects are in Solar Bears according to what I read on their fan sites.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          We track the players, and wherever they go. The list above are ALL of the Capitals prospects at this point in time (drafted/signed by team).

          • Novafyre says:

            thanks. Just wanted to be sure that my assumption was correct. It was different than the other ECHL teams I have watched and I wanted to be sure I was not misunderstanding the situation with the Caps and the Rays. I appreciate your clarifying it.

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