Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Martin Hugo Has, defenseman for the Guelph Storm. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Has, a 6′-4″, right-handed defenseman from the Czeh Republic, was selected 153rd overall in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL draft by the Washington Capitals (Capitals traded up to get Has). The 20 year-old is currently unsigned by the Capitals.
A big two-way defenseman, Has spent 2014-2017 with the HC Sparta Praha program, appearing in 88 games, collecting 15 goals and 24 assists, all while often competing against players two and three years older than him. For the next two seasons, Has played with the Tappara U20 team in the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, playing in 84 games and registering 32 points.
After a strong 2018-2019 season with Tappara U20, Has headed to Vancouver for the 2019 NHL Draft. While travelling out west, he ran into a slight problem. “I was there for the draft in Vancouver, but I didn’t get my luggage, so I had to borrow a suit; it was small because I am a tall guy,” Has said, chuckling. Appropriately dressed for the occasion, he waited until the fifth round when finally, the Washington Capitals called his name and made him an NHL prospect with the 153rd selection.
The 2019-2020 season was a whirlwind for Has. After being selected 153rd overall in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL draft by the Capitals, Has was then selected by the OHL’s North Bay Battalion in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2019 CHL Import Draft. (Clubs in the OHL are permitted two imported players on their roster). Has was one of just 12 players selected by CHL teams, that were already drafted by NHL organizations.
Has began the 2019-2020 season with the Tappara U20 team, scoring a goal in two games, but was subsequently called up to Liiga with Tappara for five games. Has had a goal and an assist before being loaned to Koovee in the Finnish Mestis League where he played in 13 games, registered a goal, and was +4.
Has then left Koovee for the World Junior tournament where he played on Czech Republic’s top defensive pairing, recording a goal and three points in five games. Following the World Junior Championship, has was loaned by the Capitals to the North Bay Battalion, where he played one game before being traded to the Guelph Storm.
His time with the Storm on the ice this past season lasted just twenty games before the league shut down, but it was valuable time for learning the differences between European and North American ice. “I had to get used to the smaller rink and the more physical game,” said Has. “The game is much more physical in North America; in Finland, there were a lot of tactics, here it is more about playing hockey.”
The 2020-21 season was relatively quiet for Has. Because of the pandemic, he would play in just nine games for the calendar year. He reported to the Team Czech Republic U20 training camp in late November and played in five games in the 2021 World Junior Championship. Prior to reporting to his national team he played four games for HC Benatky nad Jizerou in the second tier Czech league.
2020-21 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports for Martin Hugo Has prepared during the 2020-2021 season. (You can find all of our weekly and monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu).
Has reported to the Czech Republic’s U20 team’s selection camp, which began on November 4 at Kalich Arena in Litoměřice.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) November 12, 2020
According to iSport.cz and the HC Benátky nad Jizerou website, Washington Capitals defensive prospect Martin Hugo Haš will join HC Benátky nad Jizerou in the Czech’s Chance (second) League while waiting for the season to start in North America.
Has, 19, was to start the year in the OHL, where he played last year with Guelph, but the OHL season has been delayed until after the new year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Has, #88, made his debut with HC Benátky nad Jizerou on November 21. He would record an assist on HC Benátky‘s first goal.
Since our initial report, the 19-year-old made his debut with HC Benátky nad Jizerou in the Czech’s Chance (second) League. He recorded an assist in his first game, and spent almost twenty minutes on the ice in a tough battle with Vrchlabí.
Has returned to the Czech Republic’s U20 training camp in order to begin final preparations for the upcoming World Junior Championship. Until then, he’ll get in a few games with HC Benátky.
The Czech Hockey Federation officially unveiled its 42-man National Junior Team Selection Camp roster on Wednesday. Washington Capitals prospect Martin Hugo Has returned for his second Czech squad selection camp, which got underway on December 5 in Vyskov.
Has returned to the Czech blueline following a rookie OHL season split between the North Bay Battalion and Guelph Storm. Has posted six assists in 21 games last season and recorded three points (1-2–3) for the Czechs in the World Juniors.
The right-handed defender has spent the last two weeks on temporary transfer to the Czech second division’s HC Benatky nad Jizerou club, putting up an assist in three outings. Has was Washington’s fifth round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
After sitting idle since March, Has returned to the ice on November 4, when he joined the Team Czech Republic U20 Team for training camp at Katich Arena in Litoměřice. The camp was in advance of this year’s World Junior Championship selection camp.
Has had a primary assist for the Czech Republic’s first goal in their lone exhibition game on December 23 against Slovakia.
Pavel Novák (@MnWild) redirects the Martin Hugo Has (@Capitals) shot on-goal to get the Czech Republic on the board first. Stanislav Svozil (2021) with the secondary helper. pic.twitter.com/GQKa55Pm2A
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) December 24, 2020
He would add a secondary assist later in the game to stretch the Czech Republic’s lead to 5-0.
In the Czech Republic’s first game of the tournament against Sweden, Has misplayed a puck along the boards that led to a goal for the Swedes.
— Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports) December 26, 2020
Has would play a decent game overall. Here he recognizes the need to step up on a play and levels a Swedish player.
Victor Söderström maybe getting a little too fancy. Martin Has shuts him down pic.twitter.com/JBXSw6QbUj
— Dylan Griffing (@Dylan_Griffing) December 26, 2020
The Czech Republic would blank the Russians 2-0 in their second game of the tournament on December 27; Has had a very good game in the shutout.
The Czech Republic and Team USA met for the third game of the tournament for each team. The Czech Republic continued to roll just five defenseman, with Has on the right side of the first pair.
Team USA would trounce the Czech Republic 7-0, however, Has went unscathed in the contest with an even plus/minus rating; he recorded 17:26 and 24 shifts of ice time.
Has continued to hold down the right side of the top pair for the Czech Republic in the World Juniors quarterfinals game against Canada.
The Czech Republic was eliminated from the World Junior Championship in the quarterfinals by Team Canada on January 2. Has played in three games, had no points and was an impressive plus-3.
Has, who played in Venice before the World Junior Championships played in four matches in their jersey but will not continue with the team, and is awaiting the restart of the OHL season.
Has needs games and a lot of them. The pandemic limited his action to just nine games and two months of solid hockey activity over the past 12-16 months. He has you to be formally assigned, but it is expected he will report back to the Guelph Storm for the start of the 2021-22 OHL season.
Has shows significant promise. He’s played in three different countries before he turned 20. The previous season he rose through the ranks very quickly, playing for six different teams, and ending the season with the Guelph Storm. He will need a full season of action to be ready to report and succeed with Hershey the following season.
By Jon Sorensen
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Capitals’ Defensive Prospect Martin Hugo Has Officially Transfers To OHL’s North Bay Battalion
Capitals Defensive Prospect Martin Hugo Has Traded to OHL Guelph Storm
2020-2021 Prospect Reviews And Forecasts