The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday morning that they have assigned forward Hendrix Lapierre to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Lapierre, 19, is ineligible to play in the American Hockey League (AHL) due to requirements set forth in an agreement between the NHL/AHL and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The agreement requires players be age 20 or older or have played three full seasons in the CHL before they can leave the CHL to play in the AHL. The agreement is in place so that the CHL can keep younger talent for a longer period of time and prevents the AHL from raiding the CHL for players.
The Capitals needed to make a decision on Lapierre, who was seeing little game action, and would have burned the first year of his entry level contract had he reached 10 games played.
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ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have assigned forward Hendrix Lapierre to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Lapierre, 19, recorded a goal in six games with the Capitals this season. With a goal in Washington’s season opener on Oct. 13 against the New York Rangers, the 6’0″, 180-pound forward became the seventh teenager in franchise history to score in his NHL debut, the fifth-youngest to score (19 years, 246 days) and the first since Andre Burakovsky during the 2014-15 season.
During the 2020-21 season at the junior level, the Gatineau, Quebec, native ranked eighth in the QMJHL in points per game (1.48) after recording 31 points (8g, 23a) in 21 games with Chicoutimi Saguenéens. Lapierre led Chicoutimi in assists and ranked second on the team in points. He recorded nine multi-point games, including a career high four points (2g, 2a) vs. the Shawinigan Cataractes on Oct. 2, 2020. Lapierre also recorded 12 points (5g, 7a) in nine playoff games. Additionally, Lapierre was named one of the QMJHL’s Scholastic Players for the month of December 2020.
Lapierre was traded to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan from Chicoutimi on June 23.
Lapierre spent the 2019-20 season with Chicoutimi, recording 17 points (2g, 15a) in 19 games. He recorded 11 points (3g, 8a) in five games at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, leading all skaters in the tournament in points and helped Team Canada earn a silver medal.
In the 2018-19 season, Lapierre won the Michel Bergeron as the QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year after recording 45 points (13g, 32a) in 48 games with Chicoutimi.
The Capitals selected Lapierre with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Washington traded their 24th overall pick and their 80th overall pick to the Calgary Flames to acquire the 22nd overall pick.
Expected this but not so soon. Couldn’t he play another 5 games for the Caps? Why now?
Lavi wants to concentrate on rookies who will be eligible for rest of the season?
The QMJHL pushed to have a decision now?
LaPierre requested a decision now?
With ya, NoVa. I would have stretched out his games a few more weeks and return him to the Q for the second half of the season. I personally believe he is gleaning more valuable experience practicing with the Capitals than playing games in the Q.
There’s no way Lapierre would request to not get paid his ELC daily rate + per diem.
Lapierre isn’t projected as a bottom six forward, so playing him there probably isn’t going to do all that much development wise. Since he wasn’t going to get special teams time,
Most young players benefit more from actually playing – if game time didn’t matter, then OHLers who lost last season would have been drafted higher. Being around the guys is nice, but it’s less important for a 19 year old than live game situations.
To a point, but if he’s practicing pro-level schemes and with NHL players every day, which includes scrimmages, and plays every 3rd or 4th game, that’s far better than going down to CHL with slower, less experienced players.
If that were true, every team would do it. Game time obviously matters more, unless you have some empirical evidence indicating otherwise.
Lapierre has tools few players have in terms of vision, skill, and creativity. In short, he has the things that can’t be coached. What he doesn’t have as much as the things that CAN be coached and that’s what he needs to work on. It was clear that against NHL competition, he was in a little over his head at this point and that’s not a problem — so were Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes at his age. They would’ve been better off not being rushed to the NHL level. Assuming he has gotten some very good insights and knows what he needs to work on besides becoming older and more physically mature, he can play big minutes as a top line player and work on those things. Plus, he’s now eligible to be in the World Juniors.