By most accounts Washington Capitals defenseman Martin Fehérváry had a successful rookie campaign in the NHL. He played in an impressive 79 regular season games and six postseason games during the 2022-23 season, all while leading the team in hits.
And while Fehervary is pleased to achieve one of his life goals, he believes that the real work lies ahead in order for him to maintain his spot on the roster. Fehérváry is currently preparing for his second full season with the Capitals and will travel to the US in mid-September.
“At the moment, I’ve completed eight weeks of strength training and I’ve been going on the ice for a few weeks,” the 22-year-old from Bratislava told the official website of the Slovak Ice Hockey Association (SZĽH).
Last year, Fehervary earned a starter’s role on the Capitals first defensive pair and represented Slovakia at the World Championships in Finland in May. He believes that he has become one of the pillars of the Capitals defense thanks to hard work.
“It’s great. I play the first defense and twenty minutes a game. I’m extremely happy for such an opportunity.” However, he realizes that his position can change very easily if he does not continue the hard work.
“It may be different in the new season, but now I have my place and it’s definitely a better position than a year ago. I knew I had it and I just needed to get a chance. It came and I didn’t let it go. The goal was to give my best during every possible opportunity,” said Fehervary.
”I always try to play my own game, be tough and skate well. Now I’m trying to work on further improvement. I would like to be even more useful in the offensive, and the goal is also to increase the consistency of performances. I simply want to be a better defender again.”
The Capitals made several changes to their roster over the summer, including trading Fehervary’s good friend Vítek Vaněček to New Jersey, but he knows it’s a business.
“We have a good team and the management took the right steps. Personally, of course, I’m sorry for Vítek’s departure, because we were good friends. But that’s also part of hockey life,” said Fehérváry.
Fehervary sits in the room next to two of the Capitals biggest stars in Alexander Ovechkin and John Carlson. Fehervary is all ears.
“They always give me advice, I listen to them, their comments are always worth it,” smiles Martin.
By Jon Sorensen