Capitals Prospect Notebook: Review Of Prospect Play In Second Preseason Game

Photo: @NHLFlyers

The Washington Capitals continued their 2022 preseason slate of games with a 2-1 victory over the Flyers Wednesday night in Philadelphia. As expected, the Capitals deployed a majority of prospects in their second preseason tilt. Here’s a breakdown of how each of the prospects fared in the second preseason game.


The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs included an NHL veteran on each forward line and defensive pair. Charlie Lindgren made his Capitals debut, starting in goal.

Beck Malenstyn and Benton Maass were the healthy scratches for the Capitals. Felix Sandstrom got the start in goal for the Flyers.


Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – Axel’s speed was on display from the start, recorded a shot in the first and displayed his checking game throughout the contest. Did the game secure a spot on the Capitals roster. No, but he deserves another game, if the Capitals are still considering a replacement for the open Hagelin spot. Axel had two shots on goal and was a -1 in 13:21 of ice time.

Henrik Rybinski – The speed of the game was not too much for Rybinski, who had a nice centering pass for a scoring chance in the early part of the first frame. His board play and puck movement was o.k., not bad for first his first game with the Caps. Otherwise a quiet showing for him. Rybinski had no shots and was a -1 in 10:11 of ice time.

Aliaksei Protas – Protas looked sharp again, had an excellent outlet lob pass in the first period, was strong along the boards, again. He’s learning to use his size more and more. He had a good scoring rush opportunity in the middle frame but was unable to execute a centering pass. He needs to fire more pucks. Protas had no shots in 17:04 of ice time.

Ludwig Persson – A relatively quiet game for Persson, which is to be expected for an 18-year-old who is playing in Sweden’s second tier (HockeyAllsvenskan). Good experience for the Capitals 3rd-round draft pick from this year’s draft. Persson had no shots in 10:29 of ice time.

Kale Kessy – Kessy’s game is physicality and he brought it. He tried to drop the gloves on two occasions, but the first time he had no interest and the second time the officials stopped it before it got going. Kessy’s job is locking things down in Hershey, but it’s good that he got a game. He’s earned it. Kessy had two shots on goal in 10:19 of ice time.

Joe Snively – Snively getting back-to back games was simply deserved after the game head had on Sunday, as he was easily the first star for the Capitals. Snively looked sharp again on Wednesday, very quick in his play, worked well with Strome and Brown, and had another solid outing. Not up to Sunday’s level, but he deserves another game, again. Snively had two shots on goal and was a +2 in 19:35 of ice time.

Henrik Borgstrom – Not much to report, good or bad, for Borgstrom’s game. He looked fairly comfortable with the pace of play, but it’s likely he’s destined to center a line in Hershey this season. Still, a good experience for him. He had no shots in goal in 13:47 of ice time.

Mike Vecchione – Vecchione has been a fringe callup candidate for the Capitals in the past, in a dire emergency, as he has shown he can compete at the top level. However, he had a relatively quiet game on Wednesday night, with nothing good or bad to report. His line (Johansson and Protas) did little to generate scoring chances in this game. Vecchione recorded two shots on goal in 15:53 of ice time.


Gabriel Carlsson – Quiet outing for Carlsson, which might be considered a good thing. Really not much to report, positive or negative. He and McIlrath seemed to work well together, and could be a decent pairing in Hershey at some point. He was a -1 in 17:50 of ice time.

Dylan McIlrath – McIlrath brought his physicality, which is his calling card. Offensively a little shaky, but that’s to be expected. At 30, McIlrath’s job is securing things in Herhsey, but it’s good to see him get a game. He had two shots on goal in 16:53 of ice time.

Lucas Johansen – This was the much anticipated test for Johansen, paired with Trevor van Riemsdyk, which could resemble a regular season pairing should LuJo make the Capitals roster. The pairing worked o.k. together, considering that lack of familiarity. Johansen shanked a shot attempt, missed another shot wide of the net but did record a shot in goal in the first period. Possibly nerves in the early going, but he also looked shaky in the second frame as well, tentative with his puck movement at times and made two questionable passes. Hopefully he gets another game. He had two shots,on goal in 21:17 of ice time.

Bobby Nardella – Looked a bit nervous in the very early going, passing was a bit shaky, but settled down nicely and worked well with Irwin. Made a nice play in advance of Connor Brown’s goal, earning an assist. Nardella did a good job driving the Caps first power play unit, something he’s known for in Herhsey, and had another assist on Strome’s power play marker in the second period. Good game for Nardella, even though he didn’t utilize his above average shot as much as he could. He can score. He had one shot in 18:35 of ice time.


Charlie Lindgren – Lindgren was fairly sharp from the start, made a nice set of back-to-back saves late in the first period. Stopped 7 of 7 in the first frame. Had a quieter start to the second period, but action picked up later in the period and he was up to the task, stopping 6 of 6 in the middle frame. Lindgren stopped 13 of 13 in two periods of play.

Zach Fucale – Fucale entered the game at the start of the final period. He gave one up early in the period, but had no chance on a Flyers 2-on-1. He was perfect the rest of the way, stopping 7 of 8 and was perfect in the shootout. A decent showing for a Fucale, just not a very big sample size.


Prospect standouts included: Bobby Nardella, Joe Snively.

The Capitals are back in action on Friday when they visit the Red Wings in Detroit.

By Jon Sorensen

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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7 Responses to Capitals Prospect Notebook: Review Of Prospect Play In Second Preseason Game

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great report!

  2. novafyre says:

    What moves do you expect the Caps to make today? Who stays, who goes?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      It may not be today, but next 24 hours or so, I’d expect the Bears players get cut loose. They have their first preseason game next Wednesday (six days) so they need to get training camp going.

      • novafyre says:

        Do you expect any who have not yet played a Caps game to be cut? Or just the ones we have seen? I know that some on the bubble won’t be cut until later.

        Do those cut in preseason still have to pass waivers if not exempt?

        Ready to stop seeing this from the Bears: No information available for the 2022-23 Regular Season.

  3. Lance says:

    I’m impressed with Nardella. First time seeing him. He’s a great skater and has clear offensive skill.

    Snively is NHL ready. 3rd line winger mostly, I expect.

    Protas would be fine in the NHL this year. The Caps have to decide if his offense would benefit from more time at Hershey. I expect he’ll be with the Caps most of the year.

  4. DWGie26 says:

    Spot on Jon. I watched the game and agree with your assessments. A couple of times i saw 13 and was like who is that (Borgstrom). He’ll be a Hershey player for sure. Also liked Carlsson as a 25 year old for Hershey.

    I think Snively has secured a roster spot. If Protas wasn’t waiver exempt I would say the same for him, but he is likely to get stashed. Need to see McMichael again, but the way Protas has played that could also impact McMichael going down. I prefer to keep McMichael in Washington.

    One game, but I think Strome has shown he can be our 2C so that is good.

    I think we need to just sort out 3C and 4LW. There will be movement in lines but that is those are the battle right now. And of course 3LD. Nardella, Johanson and Gus the three finalists.

    It’s great to see so much competition.

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