Haakon Hanelt: 2022 Annual Review And Forecast

Photo: Gatineau Olympiques

We continue our Washington Capitals annual prospect review and forecast series with Haakon Hanelt, forward for the Gatineau Olympiques in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) . (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page in the top menu or right here.)

VITALS

Hanelt, a 5’-11”, left-handed forward from Berlin, Germany, was selected by the Capitals in the fifth round (#151 overall) of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Hanelt, 19, remains unsigned by the Capitals.

CAREER SUMMARY

Hanelt spent the 2020-21 season playing for the Berlin Polar Bears in the Deutsche Eishockey League (DEL). He was scheduled to participate in the 2021 World Junior Championship, but he and a good percentage of the German team contracted the COVID-19 virus two weeks before leaving for Alberta.

“All the players who were in Berlin got the virus. We were unable to travel to Canada. When the team arrived, there was still an outbreak…I was hoping I could get my place this year, but it looks like I’m not destined to play for my national team.”

Hanelt was slated to participate in the 2021 World U-18 Championship last April in Texas, but was unable to participate. He would miss the tournament due to a shoulder injury he suffered that was similar in nature to the one that landed him on the operating table in November, 2021.

Hanelt made the move from the German league to North America to start the 2021-22 season. “The main reason for coming to Canada is to learn to play on the smaller rinks. My goal is to play in the NHL. I will have a better chance of getting there by continuing my development by playing Canadian junior hockey,” said Hanelt.

“There were a few clubs that had shown an interest in attracting me to the country, but I felt Gatineau was probably the best place for me. I’m happy to be here and I hope we can win a championship.” Hanelt also speaks French, after having studied the language at school for six years.

Hanelt attended Capitals’ prospect camp at the end of September and participated in the Capitals main training camp before returning to the Gatineau Olympique in the QMJHL on September 28.

The 2021-22 season started well for the German winger, but a severe shoulder injury and subsequent surgery in November ended the regular season for Hanelt.

Hänelt played just seven games for the Olympiques before being sidelined with the shoulder injury. He recorded five points, but none in his last three games when he was dealing with the injury. Hanelt had time to come to terms with the idea that an operation was inevitable and his dream of competing in the 2022 World Junior Championship was once again not to be.

“I played despite the pain in my last three games. After missing the last U20 World Championship and the U18 World Championship, I had hoped I could play despite the injury, but I had to resign myself to correcting the problem now,” said Hanelt.

“When I found out I had a third missed date (tournament) in a row, it hit me hard. It took a few weeks to recover. I wanted to show what I could do on the biggest stage in junior hockey and redeem my missed experience last year. I can’t change anything now. I have one last hope for next year,” Hanelt told LeDroit.

Hanelt returned to play the final nine games of the regular season, recording a goal and four assists, as he worked his way back into shape for the postseason. He recorded two goals in six games in the playoffs.

2021-2022 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS

The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Haakon Hanelt during the 2021-2022 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.

OCTOBER
Hanelt attended Capitals’ prospect camp at the end of September and participated in the Capitals main training camp before returning to the Gatineau Olympique in the QMJHL on September 28.

Hanelt scored his first goal of the season on October 10 against Rouyn-Noranda. He would jump on a loose puck and knock it home.

Haakon was on the injury list (undisclosed) at the end of the month and missed games starting on October 24. He finished the month with a goal and four assists in seven games played for the Gatineau Olympiques.

TRENDING: SAME

NOVEMBER
Hanelt continued to miss games to begin the month of November. The team finally announced on November 19 that Hanelt required surgery and would be out several months.

“The Gatineau Olympiques have announced that forward Haakon Hänelt’s season has been compromised due to an upper body injury. The 18-year-old German will have to undergo surgery that requires several months of convalescence. Hänelt has remained with the the team in order to be followed daily, and thus, to be evaluated by the medical staff of the team.” The team said that further details will follow in the coming weeks.

Sources confirmed that Hanelt had his shoulder surgery on November 19th and his early recovery is going well. Hanelt will obviously miss any shot at this year’s World Juniors.

All injuries are unfortunate but this one is a little more. Hanelt was playing a pretty good game at the time of his injury, and doing well for a kid his age. We still believe this 5th round pick may be a potential steal, but we will have to wait to see more. For the season Hanelt has a goal and four assists in seven games played, all in the middle of October.

TRENDING: SAME

DECEMBER
The team announced on November 19 that Hanelt required surgery and would be out several months.

The German forward was scheduled to be at the World Junior Championship (WJC) in Alberta, but had to undergo shoulder surgery at the end of November. He should have also participated in the World Junior Championship played last year, but contracted COVID-19 two weeks before leaving for Alberta in December 2020.

He could have also played in the World Under-18 Championship last April in Texas, but again he was unfortunate enough to suffer a similar injury to the one that landed him on the operating table.

“When I found out I had a third missed date in a row, it hit me hard. It took a few weeks to recover. I wanted to show what I could do on the biggest stage in junior hockey and redeem my missed experience last year. I can’t change anything now. I have one last hope for next year,” Hanelt told Ledroit.

JANUARY
The team announced on November 19 that Hanelt required surgery and would be out several months. As of the end of January, Hanelt remains with the team but no workouts have been reported as of yet.

TRENDING: SAME

FEBRUARY

Hanelt was back on the ice at the beginning of the month, albeit in a red non-contact jersey.

Sources say Haakon’s rehab has been going well and he is on track to return to games by mid-April.

TRENDING: SAME

MARCH
The team announced on November 19 that Hanelt required shoulder surgery and would be out several months.

Hanelt was back on the ice at the beginning of the month, albeit in a red non-contact jersey. Sources say Haakon’s rehab has been going well and he is on track to return to games by mid-April in time for the postseason.

APRIL
Hanelt returned from shoulder surgery on Friday, April 8 against Acadie-Bathurst. He started at right wing on the 3rd line. Hanelt had a goal and four assists in eight games played before sustaining the injury and undergoing surgery in November.

Hanelt returned to the score sheet on April 12th with his first goal since the very beginning of the season.

Hanelt had three assists and was the first star of the game on April 27th against Armada. He missed the first game in May and was not listed on the Olympiques roster on May 1, so there may be movement afoot.

For the season, Hanelt, 18, had two goals and eight assists in just 16 games played.

TRENDING: SAME

PLAYER FORECAST

Hanelt has already demonstrated good stick work and puck handling skills in the 12 games we’ve watched this season. He can be very exciting when the puck is on his stick. He has also demonstrated next-level play in and around the goal and also has decent speed.

When Hanelt was on the ice, he was impressive and looked to possibly be a fifth-round steal with NHL potential. The downside is his size and durability to date, as he has suffered several should injuries already.

Hanelt is currently slated to return to Gatineau. He will be fun to track during the 2022-23 season.

By Jon Sorensen

Related Reading
Eisbaeren Germany News: Story on Haakon Haenelt Prior to 2021 Draft
Eisbaeren Germany News: Haakon Haenelt Drafted By Washington
NHL.Com/Calgary Flames: Potential Late Round Gems — Forwards
Capitals Prospect Haakon Hanelt Commits To Playing In QMJHL This Season
The Capitals Select Forward Haakon Hanelt In the 5th Round Of The 2021 NHL Entry Draft
Sportschau Germany: Haenelt Drafted By Washington Capitals
Elite Prospects Profile on Haakon Hanelt
Ledroit: Hockey Junior Olympiques: Hanelt Commits with Olympiques
Olympiques de Gatineau Site
Eisbaeren Site

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to Haakon Hanelt: 2022 Annual Review And Forecast

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    An exciting watch in the few games I have seen since his draft day. Hopefully we see a lot more this season.

  2. steven says:

    Is he going to play in the Worlds this summer?

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