Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Beck Malenstyn, forward for the Hershey Bears. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Malenstyn, 24, is a 6’-2” left-handed winger who has spent the last three seasons with the Hershey Bears in the AHL. The White Rock, British Columbia native was a 5th round draft pick (#145 overall) by the Capitals in the 2016 NHL entry draft. Malenstyn signed a three-year entry-level contract on April 10, 2017, for $736,666 AAV.He signed a 1 year, $750,000 contract with the Capitals on Jul. 8, 2021. The contract had a cap hit of $750,000. Malenstyn is a restricted free agent this offseason.
Malenstyn spent parts of five seasons in the WHL, mostly with the Calgary Hitman, before being traded to the Swift Current Broncos during his last year in the league. Malenstyn’s top scoring season occurred during the 2016-2017 season with the Calgary Hitmen, where he recorded 32 goals and 24 assists in 70 games played.
Malenstyn was traded from Calgary to Swift Current just four games into the 2017-2018 season. The move would ultimately pay huge dividends, as Malenstyn and the Broncos would win the WHL championship and hoist the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Malenstyn finished the season with 17 goals and 15 assists in 42 games played in the regular season. Malenstyn added another four goals and 11 assits in postseason play.
Malenstyn showed excellent developmental progress during his first year in the AHL. It could be argued that he made the biggest advance of all Capitals prospects during the 2018-2019 season. He quickly found his place, providing a physical grit for the Bears, and often set the tone early in games with a heavy hit or two. Malenstyn also showed potential for being a team leader. He finished the season with seven goals and nine assists in 74 games played and became a steadying force on the Bears penalty kill.
Malenstyn was on pace for significant improvement in his points production prior to the suspension of the 2019-2020 Season. He recorded seven goals and eight assists in just 46 games played. His shooting percentage also improved from 7.6% in his rookie campaign to 10.9% for his sophomore year, but his shots-per-game rate essentially remained the same. Malenstyn continued to be a key component of the Bears penalty kill, as well as a reliable shot-blocker for the Bears. He would miss three games for a suspension and 10 games due to injury during the 2019-2020 season. Malenstyn was also called up to the Capitals for three games in November.
The Capitals announced December 5 that Malenstyn would miss six-to-eight months after undergoing surgery to repair an Achilles tendon. He sustained the injury while training in Vancouver. As a result, Malenstyn missed the entire 2020-21 Covid-shortened season.
Malenstyn had a decent, but not overwhelming 2021-22 season campaign, but in all reality, it was probably to be expected, as he returned from a fairly serious injury. Malenstyn did get a callup to the Capitals for the third consecutive season, and recorded his first career NHL goal on November 30 against the Panthers in Florida.
2021-2022 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Beck Malenstyn during the 2021-2022 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
Washington sent Malenstyn to Hershey to get him game time after the winger missed the entirety of last season with an Achilles injury. The Delta, British Columbia native is still working his way back into form. He has not found his game in most aspects yet. Malenstyn has not recorded a point in seven games played and is an uncharacteristic minus four. However, some of his strengths have begun to re-emerge. He continues to play a physical game and is not afraid to deliver a check. Malenstyn is still willing to throw his body in front of a shot and his play on the penalty kill is solid. Similar to Kempny, Malenstyn’s game will improve the more he plays.
Malenstyn was pointless in the first month of the season, but got on the scoresheet in November. He registered his first point of the campaign with a secondary helper on Cody Franson’s tying goal in the third period at Springfield on November 5. The native of Delta, British Columbia then tallied his first goal since February 16, 2020 in a matchup with Syracuse on November 13. Malenstyn wristed a low shot from the outside edge of the right circle into the net to give the Bears a 1-0 edge 43 seconds into the game.
Beck Malenstyn scores his first goal of the season just 43 seconds into the contest. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/MK1mumLGiV
— Jon Sorensen (@jon_m_sorensen) November 14, 2021
Malenstyn picked up another secondary assist at Hartford on November 20. He seemed to find his game a little more in November and was recalled to the Capitals on November 24. He played in three games with Washington and did fairly well. He scored his first NHL marker on November 30 against Florida. He was called for a late penalty in the game that led to the Panthers game winning goal, that dampened the occasion.
Malenstyn has already been trusted on the penalty kill in a tight game, something that will be his role should he become a regular member of the Capitals lineup. He is also laying the hits, and blocking shots, all Malenstyn Hallmarks.
Malenstyn and Garrett Pilon were guests on the “Break the Ice” podcast with Mike Vogel in November.
Malenstyn spent most of December in the NHL with the Washington Capitals. He skated in eight games for the parent club without recording a point. The Delta, British Columbia native returned to the Bears just in time for the game at Lehigh Valley on December 21.
He was held off the scoresheet in that game, but did strike against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on December 27. In the third period, Malenstyn skated in and wristed a rebound from a Macoy Erkamps shot into the net for his second goal of the season.
Beck “The Check” Malenstyn makes it 4-1. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/amzFCxyFuY
— Jon Sorensen (@jon_m_sorensen) December 28, 2021
The winger continues to be unafraid to throw his body in front of a shot, even late in games when the game is in hand. He blocked two shots with under a minute left in the game with the Bears up 4-1 on December 27. The blocked shots exemplify Malenstyn’s commitment to doing all the little things. For the season, Malenstyn has two goals and two assists in 18 games played. He’s shot the puck 31 times for a 6.4% shooting percentage.
Malenstyn continues to struggle to find his offensive game. The winger did not record a point in 10 games played in January and had just four points in 28 games this season. What is more surprising is that Malenstyn is a team worst minus nine.
He has always been a responsible two-way player and his struggles at even strength are unexpected. Malenstyn is still a quality penalty killer and brings a physical presence to the team. However, the Bears need Malenstyn to improve his game at five-on-five and the team needs more offense out of him.
For the season, Malenstyn had a goal in 12 games with the Capitals and two goals and two assists and a -9 in 28 games played with the Bears.
TRENDING – DOWN
Coming into the month with four points on the season, Malenstyn found a bit of his offensive stride in February. He tallied his first goal since December 27 against Hartford on February 2.
Beck “The Check” Malenstyn gives the Bears a 2-1 lead. #WreckItBeck #BeckTheCheck #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/QcMSs7Fr7t
— Jon Sorensen (@jon_m_sorensen) February 3, 2022
The goal ended an 11-game goalless and scoring drought. The native of Delta, British Columbia then had the primary helper on Kody Clark’s game-winning goal in Cleveland on February 4. Malenstyn followed that up by netting the game-winner in Cleveland the following day.
Riley Sutter to Beck Malenstyn. Bears lead 2-0. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/KmnwTeUXrm
— Jon Sorensen (@jon_m_sorensen) February 5, 2022
Malenstyn picked up his second game-winning goal of the month in Bridgeport on February 19. He added an assist in the game as well.
Beck Malenstyn with the deflection for his 5th of the season. Bears leading 4-0 at second intermission. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/YfNdhsL54N
— Jon Sorensen (@jon_m_sorensen) February 20, 2022
Malenstyn finished the month with five points. He also blocked a lot of shots on the penalty kill and delivered some big hits.
After a slow start to the season, Malenstyn has picked up his play. The winger tallied a team high five goals in March. He recorded the first three-point game of his professional career in a 4-0 win over Lehigh Valley on March 8.
Wreck it Beck! Beck Malenstyn with the redirect gives the Bears a 1-0 lead. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/5B12klyr9r
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 9, 2022
Malenstyn opened the scoring when he redirected Dylan McIlrath’s shot into the net in the second period. This would be the game-winning goal. He also had the lone assist on Brett Leason’s third period marker and closed out the scoring with an empty net goal. Malenstyn also potted the game winner in Hershey’s next game in Bridgeport on March 11.
Nice steal and finish by Beck Malenstyn for his 8th of the season. He’s starting to feel it. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/wjC7Zaysl7
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 12, 2022
Malenstyn registered another two-goal game against Lehigh Valley on March 23. The winger ripped a shot through a screen from the center point for the Bears’ fourth goal in the third period of a 5-1 victory.
Beck Malenstyn rips one from the top of the slot for his 9th of the season. Bears lead 4-1. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/OxZro8f30v
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 24, 2022
Malenstyn also scored the fifth goal on a great individual effort. He tipped the puck away from Wade Allison off of the initial face off during a Lehigh Valley power play. He then pushed the puck ahead into the offensive zone and then outmuscled Allison. Malenstyn backhanded the puck through the legs of Felix Sandstrom for a shorthanded goal.
A shorty for Beck Malenstyn, his second goal of the game. Bears lead 5-1. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/4BN7iPfbPV
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 24, 2022
The winger was also a plus five in March and his overall game has been better the past two months. He is blocking a lot of shots and his delivering hits when called upon, as per usual for Malenstyn.
Coming off his best offensive month in March, Malenstyn was unable to match that production in April. Like most of the Hershey team, the winger’s offense dried up. He recorded one point in the month, an assist on Kody Clark’s overtime winner in Bridgeport on April 5, and failed to score a point in the last 10 games of the campaign.
Malenstyn’s even-strength play also dropped off. He was a minus-six for the month after being a plus-five in March. Malenstyn remains a high-end penalty killer and an excellent shot blocker and still delivers the big check. However, the Bears are a better team when Malenstyn is playing well in all areas of his game like he was in March.
Obviously the torn Achilles was a sizeable setback for Malenstyn, but to his credit, he battled back from the injury and began to find his game again. He had a decent 2021-22 season, considering he missed the entire 2020-21 season.
Malenstyn will once again have a shot at cracking the Capitals opening night lineup in October, but will be competing with several other Capitals prospects. His grit and physicality is probably his best differentiating trait when he is measured against other prospects, but he is also responsible, defensively, and has been a key component on the Bears penalty kill.
It will all depend on how he shows in training camp and practice leading up to opening night.
By Jon Sorensen
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Beck really deserves a good shot at making the Caps. He already is a great fit for the 4th line with his physical play, 200 ft game, penalty killing ability, intensity, and hockey smarts. Some don’t realize this, but he has well above average speed and can generate a little offense. He does seem to be the ideal package for an energy guy on the 4th line.
I agree with all of your points. 👍
No much room on the 3rd and 4th lines… JOe S and Axel will be fighting for the spots… Protas too…
I think the Caps pipeline is ok.. not great but ok. Better than the Pens and Leafs.
Yep, and Leason as well. Going to be very interesting in September.
Finally, competition at positions and with youth involved.
Malenstyn was one of the Bears best, if not the best 200 foot players on the team. His penalty killing, defense, and physical play was outstanding. Reminded me of a guy I watched that would one day be a prime Capitals player. That young guy was named Tom Wilson.
This guy goes to the dirty areas with a mean disposition and gets irritated when he arrives. Picks up the greasy goals and is PDQ. Can fill many roles.