Connor McMichael Finishes First Professional Season Leading The Bears In Goals And Points: “He’s The Real Deal”

Image: @Capitals

The Hershey Bears wrapped-up their abbreviated 36-game regular season schedule with a 5-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday afternoon at Giant Center. The conclusion of the season also signals the end of Capitals’ prospect Connor McMichael’s first professional season. He would go out with a bang.

McMichael wasted little time in getting on the score sheet in the Bears season finale on Sunday.

McMichael, 20, would finish the game with a goal and three assists. He finished the season with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points.

McMichael led all Bears in goals and points for the 2020-21 season. He was tied for first among all AHL rookies in goals, and 6th among all rookies in points. He also led the league in game-winning goals for the season with eight.

“He’s the real deal, but I think the best compliment [that] I can pay Mics is [that] he’s a gamer,” said Hershey Bears Head Coach Spencer Carbery to ABC27.

“When the games get really competitive, tight game 1-1 in the third period, a hostile environment in Wilkes and it’s a chippy game, he plays his best in [those] big moments,” Carbery said. “Especially for someone that young, usually situations like that overwhelm them. Usually it’s like ‘woah, I’m just trying to find my footing.’ [But] he embraces it and wants the puck and wants to be the guy. It’s almost like the bigger the situation, the better he plays, which is really, really impressive at his age.”

Carbery said after Sunday’s season finale that this weekend was McMichael’s best weekend of the season. “Very Connor McMichael-ish. Best weekend of the season from him. In these two games, where, that’s what’s on the line; the division title, the league title, our last game of the season. Potentially he’s not gonna play again for four months. He wants to leave everything on the ice. And those were his best two games of the year, and he’s had some pretty good games. Those were just phenomenal.”

It’s unclear what the next step will be for McMichael. Obviously the Capitals would like to get him in Washington at some point between now and the start of Capitals training camp in September. It’s assumed that the Capitals will have some form of a development camp this summer, as last years was cancelled due to the pandemic, but that has not been confirmed by the team as of yet.

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 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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4 Responses to Connor McMichael Finishes First Professional Season Leading The Bears In Goals And Points: “He’s The Real Deal”

  1. horn73 says:

    love it – great write up!

  2. Marky says:

    looking good. Would still give him one more year in Hershey or overseas pro for development in my opinion but Caps are known for bringing guys up a year to early…

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      It’s a good point Marky, but im a little less certain. After watching every one of his games this season, it’s apparent that he may be approaching the end of value in playing the AHL. Hard to believe, but he picks up things so fast. A whole year might be a waste of development time. Europe is definitely something to consider.

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