Washington Capitals prospects are beginning to return to their teams for training camps and final preparations in advance of the 2021-22 season. Before they get to work we thought we would highlight a few of the middle-tier (wildcard) prospects we will watching extra closely this season. The listing includes only players drafted in the 4th round or later.
Mitchell Gibson (G) – Fourth Round (#124), 2018 NHL Draft – Age 22
Gibson had a pretty good season his first year with Harvard, unfortunately he has been away from hockey for the last 18 months due to Covid. Don’t expect a quick start out of the gates this fall, however, keep an eye on the second half of his season. He has two more years at Harvard, which will make him 24 before he can make the next step to Hershey.
Haakon Hanelt (F) – Fifth Round Pick (#151), 2021 NHL Draft – Age 18
Hanelt’s been in the Capitals system for just two short months but he’s already impressed us in the few games we’ve watched him play this summer. He will be heading to North America in early September to play for Gatineau Olympique of the QMJHL. It will be interesting to see how his game adapts to the tighter confines, and how quickly he finds his stride in the CHL. He is just 18, so a year to adapt to CHL hockey may be in order, but don’t be surprised if the kid opens some eyes this season.
Martin Hugo Has – (RD) Fifth Round Pick (#153), 2019 NHL Draft – Age 20
Hugo Has has had a bit of an up and down ride since he was drafted by the Capitals. During the 2019-20 season he played for six different teams, however, a majority of those team changes were a result of finding the next level of competition for Has. He ended the season with the Guelph Storm in the OHL, which is where he will return to this fall. Last season was a wash for Has, as he struggled to find any games to play. Look for Has to excel in the CHL and be primed for a run at a spot with Hershey next fall. 2021 Annual Review and Forecast.
Bogdan Trineyev (F) – Fourth Round Pick (#117), 2020 NHL Draft – Age 19
After spending the last month practicing and playing in preseason games with Dynamo Moscow’s KHL squad, and playing with the National Team in this summer’s Sochi Open, Trineyev will begin the year with the Dynamo MHK squad in the second tier of the KHL. Trineyev made several appearances with the top club last season and will look to get more time with the big club this season. He has already demonstrated his shot and hockey sense is next-level. If he can get games with the top team and go full time with the top team next season, he could be looking at a shot at coming to America in 2024. 2021 Annual Review and Forecast.
Garin Bjorklund – (G) – Sixth Round Pick (#179), 2020 NHL Draft – Age 19
Bjorklund had a .921 save percentage with 2.60 goals against average last season with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL. He also played for Team Canada in this year’s summer showcase, and did well. He will have one more season with the Tigers before he will be ready for a shot in Hershey next fall. It will be interesting to track his progress this season, and see if he is ready to make the jump to the AHL. 2021 Annual Review and Forecast.
Tobias Geisser – (LD) – Fourth Round Pick (#120), 2017 NHL Draft – Age 22
Geisser played in 41 games with the Hershey Bears during the 2018-19 season and seven games in the 2019-20 season before he was re-assigned to EV Zug in the Swiss League. His re-assignment was due to the lack of available playing time more than anything else. He’s made the most of his last two seasons in the Swiss league and was a starter on last season’s championship team. This is Geisser’s time if he wants to make a run at the NHL. Look for him to return to Hershey this fall. 2021 Annual Review and Forecast.
You can find all of our prospect news and analysis on our Prospects Page in the top menu.
By Jon Sorensen