Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Martin Fehervary, defenseman for the Hershey Bears. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Fehervary, 21, is 6’2”, 190-pound, left-handed defenseman, who played the 2020-21 season with the Hershey Bears. The Bratislava, Slovakia native was drafted by the Capitals in the second round (#46 overall) of the 2018 NHL entry-level draft. Fehervary signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals on July 1, 2018.
Fehervary has a great deal of international hockey experience for a 21 year-old. He’s spent a majority of the past five seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, most recently with HV71, and represented Team Slovakia in three World Juniors tournaments.
Fehervary played against mostly older players and climbed the defensive ranks for HV71. By the time 2018-19 playoffs rolled around, he found himself on the team’s top pair. During one game in March, the Slovak played a season-high 24:51 against Färjestad. Fehervary played a total of 43:13 minutes, when HV71 lost in the third overtime period against Färjestad in the playoffs. He was praised for his performance by the media and one could argue that this was his real coming out party in the SHL.
He also anchored Team Slovakia in the World Juniors, and had a very good tournament for the less talented Slovak team. Martin embraced his leadership role with Team Slovakia, impressing his team and media covering the tournament.
Fehervary’s 2019-2020 campaign, his first in North America, was solid from start to finish. Following a strong showing in Capitals training camp, Fehervary began the season with the Capitals. After three games, on his 20th birthday, he was re-assigned to Hershey. Defensively, Fehervary was sound. He picked-up the AHL game quickly, and became a trusted Bears defender in short order. He played on both sides during the season, and was a stalwart on special teams. He finished the season a +15, which was the third best plus/minus on the Bears team. Offensively he finished with four goals and 11 assists.
The 2020-21 season was to potentially being a more permanent role with the Capitals, but an offseason defensemen signing frenzy by the Capitals relegated Fehervary to another season in Hershey. After shaking off the initial disappointment, Fehervary turned in another solid season. Fehervary also showed a more physical game this season, particularly with his checking and puck battles. He also dropped the gloves with an opponent who took a questionable hit on a fellow Bear, something we hadn’t seen to date. He continued his strong play on the penalty kill as well. Offensively, Fehervary recorded three goals and 14 assists before being recalled to the Capitals to end the season.
2020-21 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for the 2020-21 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
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 practiced with the main (Roster) group on a regular basis.
Fehervary started the season on the Washington Capitals taxi squad but was sent to Hershey in time to play in their season opener on February 6. He skated in the first four games of the season. A left-handed defenseman, the Slovak has played on his off side, the right, thus far this season.
Fehervary has looked comfortable on the right and has seen time on the top pairing. He kills penalties and has seen some time on the power play. He has two assists thus far this season.
The Bratislava, Slovakia native is one of many Hershey defensemen to miss games because of injury. He was injured on February 17 in a game against Binghamton in Newark and missed the next three games with an upper body injury. Fehervary returned to action on February 27 against Binghamton.
After missing time due to an injury in February, Fehervary was a steady presence in the lineup for the Bears in March. That proved to be a good thing. He posted seven points in the month, the most among Hershey defensemen.
The Slovak’s first goal of the season came shorthanded against Lehigh Valley on March 3. He converted a feed from Riley Sutter 52 seconds into the second period.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) March 4, 2021
In his next game on March 7, Fehervary delivered the overtime winner. He came off the bench and streaked down the middle of the ice. Garrett Pilon found him and Fehervary wristed his shot past the glove of Binghamton goalie Evan Cormier.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) March 7, 2021
Fehervary has also noticeably stepped-up his physical game in March. Here he lays a solid hit against Lehigh Valley on March 14.
Fehervary would come to the defense of Brian Pinho after Pinho was hit with a vicious late hit on March 28 against the Penguins.
Fehervary would immediately chase down the Penguins player and drop the gloves with him.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) March 28, 2021
He recorded a pair of assists on both March 19 and March 24. The second-year defenseman dished out five assists in the month. He leads Hershey defensemen in scoring with 10 points and is tied for second on the team in assists with eight.
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.
The Slovak defender suited up for the Bears in three games in May before being recalled to the Washington taxi squad. He assisted on Axel Jonsson-Fjallby’s second period goal at Lehigh Valley on May 5. The helper extended his assist streak to five games. Fehervary was held scoreless in his final two games with the chocolate and white. He ended the season with 17 points, the second most by a Hershey defenseman. The native of Bratislava, Slovakia was third on the team with 14 assists. Fehervary netted three goals on the season, two of those were game winners. Look for Fehervary to earn a spot on the Capitals blue line this fall.
MacLellan re: Martin Fehervary. “We are counting on him playing right away.” #ALLCAPS
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) May 26, 2021
Fehervary’s game continues to evolve and improve. Remember, he is just 21, but has been playing against men since he was a teenager in the SHL. He stepped up his physical game this spring in Hershey, and continued his excellent play and shot-blocking on the Bears penalty kill.
Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLlelan stated in his postseason media availability that the Capitals are looking for Fehervary to be on the roster this fall. There is little question he is ready for that challenge. Barry defensive acquisitions during the the offseason, Fehervary should be given a solid shot to replace Zdeno Chara on the back end.
By Jon Sorensen
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By Jon Sorensen