Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Michael Sgarbossa, center for the Hershey Bears. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page here.)
Sgarbossa, a 6’0, left-handed center from Campbelville, Ontario, was undrafted. The Washington Capitals originally signed him as a free agent prior to the 2018-19 season. The 28-year–old signed a two-year extension with the Capitals organization on June 17, 2021.
Sgarbossa began his career with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2008-09, after being drafted 54th overall in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection Draft.
The pivot posted 43 points in his initial season with the Colts and then was traded to the Saginaw Spirit midway through the 2009-10 season after tallying 20 points in 19 games in Barrie. He then compiled 32 points in 48 games with Saginaw.
After the season, Sgarbossa went undrafted in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but signed a three-year free agent contract with the San Jose Sharks.
In the 2010-11 season, Sgarbossa netted seven goals and 13 assists in 26 games with the Spirit before being traded, again. This time, he landed with the Sudbury Wolves and his game took off. Sgarbossa scored 29 goals and dished out 33 assists in 62 games with the Wolves.
His production continued in Sudbury during the 2011-12 season. Sgarbossa led the OHL in scoring with 102 points. He finished second in the league in goals with 47 and his 55 assists ranked third in the OHL. Sgarbossa was named a First Team OHL All-Star.
During his successful 2011-12 season, the Sharks traded Sgarbossa’s rights to the Colorado Avalanche and that is the organization for which he would begin his professional career. With the NHL in a lockout at the start of the 2012-13 season, Sgarbossa went directly to the AHL and the Lake Erie Monsters. Sgarbossa established himself by quickly becoming an offensive leader for the Monsters. Halfway through the season, he was leading the Monsters in scoring and was tied for second amongst rookies in the AHL and was an All-Star game selection. Immediately following the All-Star game, Sgarbossa received his first NHL callup. He made his NHL debut for the Avalanche against the Vancouver Canucks. He played six games with Colorado, going scoreless, before being returned to Lake Erie. Sgarbossa ended his first pro season with 19 points and 25 assists.
He spent the entire 2013-14 season in the AHL with the Monsters. He recorded 20 points in 49 games. In the 2014-15 season, Sgarbossa recorded his first career NHL point with Colorado and had 23 points in 40 games with Lake Erie. At the trade deadline, the Avalanche traded him to the Anaheim Ducks organization. Sgarbossa finished the season with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in Norfolk and put up six goals and nine assists in 20 games with the Admirals.
Sgarbossa equaled his professional career high of 44 points while playing for the Ducks’ new AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, in the 2015-16 season. After playing nine games in the NHL with Anaheim at the start of the 2016-17, he was traded to the Florida Panthers for Logan Shaw, and was assigned to the Panthers AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds. He impressed with the Thunderbirds and was quickly recalled to Florida. He saw his longest stint in the NHL, closing out the season in Florida, playing in 29 games. Sgarbossa tallied his first career NHL goal during that time and had seven points with the Panthers.
Following the completion of the season, Sgarbossa was non-tendered. On July 1, 2017, Sgarbossa signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets. He spent the entire season in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose, posting 40 points in 68 games.
During the next off-season, Sgarbossa inked a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals. He immediately became a key contributor to the Hershey Bears and led the Bears in scoring with 65 points, a career high, in the 2018-19 season. Sgarbossa also set career highs with 30 goals and 35 assists.
Washington re-signed him to a two-year deal and he returned to Hershey for the 2019-20 season. Sgarbossa was atop the Hershey scoring list when an injury knocked him out of action for nearly two months in early January. He finished third on the team in scoring with 40 points. Sgarbossa also saw action in two games with the Capitals.
Similarly to everyone else, the 2021 season was a bit different for Sgarbossa. He split his time between Washington, the taxi squad and Hershey. He started the season in Washington, recording two assists in five games played. Sgarbossa then returned to the Bears. He skated in 14 games, tallying five goals and five assists.
2020-2021 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Mike Sgarbossa during the 2020-2021 season. (You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu).
Sgarbossa attended Capitals training camp beginning on January 3rd. He was placed on waivers on January 11 as part of the Capitals’ roster-trimming necessary to meet the 23-player roster limit required for all teams by 5:00 PM, January 12. He was assigned to the Capitals’ taxi squad the following day. Sgarbossa was recalled from the taxi squad on January 26, due to injuries to Lars Eller and Brian Pinho. He played in three games for the Capitals and had an assist.
Sgarbossa started the season in the NHL with the Capitals. He posted two assists in five games with the Capitals before he rejoined the Bears for their second game of the season and immediately jumped into the top center role. In his first game, Sgarbossa recorded a goal and assist at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on February 11.
His power play tally tied the game in the second period and he assisted on Connor McMichael’s game-winning, power play goal in the third. He potted three more goals in the month and is tied for the team lead in goals with four.
Sgarbossa was tied for second on the team in scoring with McMichael and Matt Moulson. He was an even or a plus player in all seven games that he played and was tied for the best plus/minus rating on the team with a plus five rating. Sgarbossa was part of the leadership corps on the team and has served as an alternate captain.
Sgarbossa played in six games in March for Hershey before being recalled to the Washington taxi squad on March 23. He scored the third goal in a 4-1 victory over Lehigh Valley on March 6.
That was his lone goal of the month. The next night, Sgarbossa registered the secondary assist on Martin Fehervary’s overtime winner. Sgarbossa dished out a pair of assists against Binghamton on March 19. On the season, Sgarbossa had five goals and five assists.
Sgarbossa and Garrett Pilon were re-assigned to the Capitals taxi squad in April.
Sgarbossa was sent to Hershey for the final weekend of the AHL season. He centered Matt Moulson and Joe Snively in a game against Binghamton on May 15. He was held scoreless in the game. He missed the season finale due to an injury. Sgarbossa skated in 14 games for the Bears this campaign. He potted five goals and added five assists during the season.
TRENDING – SAME
The veteran center remains a solid minor-league depth option for the Washington organization. With the departure of Philippe Maillet for the KHL, he is the most-experienced center in Hershey and will likely see some action with the Capitals next season as a call up.
Sgarbossa will provide the Bears with a top-line center who produces offensively. He has been a consistent scorer for Hershey and should continue to be so next season. He also is a leader in the locker room and is a good mentor for the prospects in the system.
By Eric Lord
2020-2021 Prospect Reviews And Forecasts
Martin Hugo Has