Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Brian Pinho, center for the Hershey Bears. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
The Washington Capitals selected Pinho with the 174th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL Draft. The 6’-1”, right handed forward signed a two-year entry-level contract on April 4, 2018 for $833,750 average annual value (AAV). The Capitals re-signed Pinho to a two-year deal on September 17, 2020.
Pinho, who turned 26 in May 11, played four years at Providence College, increasing his offensive output each of the first three seasons. The 2016-2017 season was his statistical high-water mark, where he was also selected as the team’s Alternate Captain.
Pinho joined the Capitals on April 4th, 2018, but would soon return to Providence College to complete school and graduation. He attended his sixth Capitals development camp at the end of the June, 2018 where he centered the top line for the White Team in the camp scrimmage, registering a goal and an assist in the game.
Pinho was relatively quiet for a majority of the 2018-2019 season, but there seemed to be a late wake-up call in March, April and May, as there was a noticeable improvement in his play with and away from the puck, and overall presence on the ice.
The 2019-2020 season was somewhat of a breakout season for “Pins”. He recorded 20 goals, 17 assists and was a +16 in 62 games before the season was suspended. He was second on the Bears in goals and fourth in total points for the season. He was excellent on the penalty kill, and led the Bears in shorthanded goals with three. He recorded 132 shots for a season shooting percentage of 15.1%.
Pinho played in just 12 games in the 2020-21 season – two for the Capitals and 10 for the Hershey Bears. He recorded eight goals in 10 games for the Bears. The remainder of his time was spent on the Capitals taxi squad.
2020-2021 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports prepared during the 2020-21 season. You can find all of our weekly and monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
Pinho was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on January 3. Pinho was officially added to the Capitals’ taxi squad on January 13.
Pinho was recalled from the taxi squad on January 22 and played against the Sabres on January 22. He played in two games for the Capitals (Sabres on January 22 and 24) but was injured in the second game.
Pinho was sidelined with an undisclosed injury for the last week of January.
Pinho was on the Capitals taxi squad for the month of February.
Pinho was sent to the Bears prior the March 24 game at Lehigh Valley. He contributed right away. The Providence College product netted Hershey’s fourth goal in the second period and then added an empty netter.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) March 25, 2021
He also assisted on Matt Moulson’s third period goal to record a three-point game in his AHL season debut. He contributed two assists in his next outing at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Both of those helpers were the result of defensive plays Pinho made.
In the second period, he intercepted a pass to start a rush that ended in Philippe Mailet’s goal. Then, he stole the puck along the boards and fed to Kody Clark who scored an empty net goal.
Pinho was not done scoring for the week. He potted a goal 18 seconds into the game on March 28 for a six-point week.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) March 28, 2021
Pinho netted five goals in the six games he played in April. He had eight goals for the season in just 10 games. Five of his goals awere 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 had 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.
The Providence College product did not see any action in May. He took a hit in a game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 24 and that hit ended his season. In 10 games, Pinho netted eight goals and dished out four assists. He led the team with five empty net goals
TRENDING – SAME
The series-winning goal against Bridgeport in the 2019 post season (here) came at the end of a game in which he was possibly the best Bear, offensively. Pinho essentially picked up where he left off for the 2019-2020 season, as he became an offensive leader and leader on the Bears penalty kill. Pinho was nearly unstoppable in the AHL this season, with eights goals in just 10 games before being recalled by the Capitals.
Time is already something to consider with Pinho’s development, but his game has been on a steady upward trajectory since the end of the 2019 season. His hockey smarts are sufficient and he has the skillset to potentially crack a bottom six roll with Washington, if his game continues to improve. The Capitals/Bears began to use Pinho on the wing, to some success in 2019.
Checkers Beat Bears 5-4, Brian Pinho Scores Two Goals
Brian Pinho’s Offensive Rise a Boost For Hershey
Brian Pinho Scores Two Goals in Bears 5-4 Shootout Victory Over Sound Tigers
Bears Fall To Checkers 4-3 (SO); Brian Pinho, Shane Gersich Score First AHL Goals
Brian Pinho Reports To Caps, Alex Ovechkin Absent
Washington Capitals Prospect Review and Forecast (2018)
By Jon Sorensen