Photo: Brian Liesse, T-Birds
The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday afternoon that they have signed Seattle Thunderbirds forward Henry Rybinski to a three-year entry-level contract for $925,000 AAV. Rybinski will remain with Seattle this season and his contract will begin in 2022-23.
Rybinski, 20, was originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 5th round (#136 overall) in 2019 NHL Entry Draft, but was not offered a contract. (Today is the first day teams can sign free agent prospects to entry-level contracts). He mostly played right wing up until this season, when he switched to center.
Rybinski recorded a career-high 54 points (18g, 36a) in 39 games with the Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season. The 6’2″, 185-pound forward leads Seattle with 1.38 points per game and ranks second in points and assists.
The Vancouver, B.C., native has recorded 15 multi-point games this season and is tied for the team lead with four game-winning goals. Rybinski has additionally won 428 of his 775 face-offs this season (55.2%).
During the 2020-21 season with Seattle, Rybinski led the team with 28 points (7g, 21a) in 23 games and was tied for 20th in the WHL.
In 225 career games with Seattle and the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL, Rybinski has recorded 165 points (47g, 118a).
According to Pro Hockey Rumors, Rybinski was in Edmonton Oilers development camp last August, and before that had been in camps run by the Panthers. That’s actually where he transitioned back to center, the position he now plays full-time.
“The Capitals have signed a great prospect today,” said Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge. “As an organization we are so happy for Henry and the entire Rybinski family. He has put in a tremendous amount of work with our coaches and development staff over his time here and this is a direct result of the hard work of Henry and the organization.”
By Jon Sorensen
Caps have done well with free agent signing as of late: Bobby Nardella and Joe Snively
Indeed. Will find out if Danny Brooks is behind this signing as well.
Those FA signings have definitely worked out so far.
who is Danny Brooks? One of the scouts? There was a Panthers scout who now works for the Caps but I don’t know his name. Perhaps he scouted Rybinksi before? One wonders why no offer was tendered to him if he’s scoring at this rate.
Brooks is an “under the radar” scout who signed Snively and Nardella (Nardella is also looking like he could make the jump). Sneeky good signings. We tried to interview Brooks but Caps wouldn’t allow it, saying they don’t allow their scouts to be interviewed, which makes sense.
Interesting! They don’t allow their scouts to be interviewed. But folks like Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler are always talking to scouts. I guess it’s always off the record and the scouts are never named.
I read somewhere that the Panthers scout who scouted him ahead of the ’19 draft now works for the Caps. (Do teams do that? Sign each others’ scouts?)
More late games to add to the watch list. 😂
Looking at the highlight reel, he reminds me a bit of Chandler Stephenson. I guess that means we’ll get him into the lineup, he’ll help us win a Cup, and then we’ll deal him for a fifth rounder.