Washington Capitals Prospect Report – October, 2022: Alexander Suzdalev, Ryan Hofer And Mike Vecchione Shine In Opening Month


Welcome to the first installment of NoVa Caps’ Washington Capitals Monthly Prospects Report for the 2022-2023 season. This report summarizes activities for each of the Capitals’ prospects for the month of October, 2022.  

The report is categorized by leagues/regions in which each prospect plays in:

  • AHL (Hershey Bears)
  • CHL (WHL/OHL/QMJHL)
  • NCAA/USHL/ECHL
  • EUROPE (SWEDEN/SWISS LEAGUE)
  • KHL (VHL/KHL)

Each player is graded for the month. We are implementing a new monthly rating system this season that will provide a greater granularity for monthly summaries. Each player will be scored 0-5 for their monthly grades, with 2.5 being average.

[You can always access all of our prospect news and analysis on our “Prospects” page located in the top menu]


AHL/HERSHEY BEARS


The first month of the 2022-23 American Hockey League (AHL) season came to end on Sunday, October 30, for the Hershey Bears. The road woes from last season continued as the Bears dropped all three of their matchups away from the Giant Center. On home ice, Hershey won three of four and earned a point in the loss.

The chocolate and white opened their season with a pair of wins on home ice over Utica and Lehigh Valley, but followed that up with a four-game losing streak (two in Charlotte, one in Hartford and one at home to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) before concluding the month with a home win over Lehigh Valley.

Hershey has amassed eight points through October, posting a record of 3-2-2. They sit in sixth place in the Atlantic Division, trailing first place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by five points.

Offensively, the Bears have scored 18 goals and are being paced by Mike Vecchione. The veteran forward compiled a team-high eight points for the month. Winger Mason Morelli, right wing Garrett Pilon and defenseman Bobby Nardella each chipped in with five points. Hershey has seen 11 players tally goals and 16 players record at least one point.

On the defensive side, the chocolate and white have surrendered 17 goals. The majority of those have come on the road where the Bears have given up 12 goals in three games. The problem has been poor decision-making that has led to turnovers. Zach Fucale has earned all three wins in net, but tandem partner Hunter Shepard has outperformed him, statistically.


ALEX ALEXEYEV (LD) – 22 – DRAFTED 2018 (First Round, 31st overall)
The blue liner was assigned to the Bears on a long-term conditioning stint on October 28 after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. Unsurprisingly, Alexeyev showed some rust. His puck handling and passing were a little off at times. That will improve the more he plays. On the positive side, Alexeyev’s defensive positioning and decision making have been solid. He just needs ice time to get the sharpness back.

Monthly Score: 2.5


GARIN BJORKLUND – (G) – 20 – DRAFTED 2020 (Sixth Round, #179 Overall)
Bjorklund participated in Capitals rookie camp and Capitals main training camp before being re-assigned to Hershey on September 30. He participated in Bears training camp and then re-assigned to ECHL South Carolina on October 9. He has yet to play in a game for the Stingrays.

Monthly Score: 2.5


HENRIK BORGSTROM (C/LW) – 25 – DRAFTED 2016 (First Round, 23rd overall – Florida)
Borgstrom potted the first goal of the season for the Bears when he put home the rebound from a Hendrix Lapierre shot in the first period against Utica on October 15. The Finnish born forward tallied his second goal in the waning seconds of a 5-4 loss in Charlotte on October 21.

Borgstrom hit a rough patch in his own end during a three-game stretch from October 22 to October 29 and was a -4 during that stretch. He was a plus-one in his other four games. Borgstrom has centered the third line, the second line and played on the left wing so far this season.

Monthly Score: 2.5


GABRIEL CARLSSON (LD) – 25 – DRAFTED 2015 (1st Round, 29th overall – Columbus)
The Swedish defenseman has slotted into the second defensive pair. Carlsson goes unnoticed on most nights. He does not commit significant errors, but he does not really stand out either.

The Orebro, Sweden native has been an even player in four of seven games. Offensively, Carlsson has a pair of assists. He had the primary assist on Hendrix Lapierre’s power play goal against Lehigh Valley on October 16 and then picked up a secondary assist on Sam Anas’ opening goal in Charlotte on October 21.

Monthly Score: 2.5


KODY CLARK – (RW) – 23 – DRAFTED 2018 (Second Round, #47 Overall)
The Washington Capitals announced on October 11 that Clark had undergone surgery on his left quad tendon, and is expected to miss 6-8 months. Clark will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Monthly Score: Incomplete


ETHAN FRANK (RW) – 24 – Undrafted
The Nebraska native missed the last two games of the month after suffering an upper body injury in Hartford on October 28. The injury came at an unfortunate time as Frank had tallied in his last two games, including the one in which he was injured.

The Western Michigan alum netted his first goal of the season in Charlotte on October 22. As he was streaking down the middle, Frank took a feed from Mason Morelli and snapped a shot by Mack Gudza to give the Bears an early 1-0 lead.

The winger then scored Hershey’s first goal in Hartford. He one-timed a feed from Henrik Borgstrom for a power play marker in the second period. Frank brings energy to the lineup and was playing on the second power play unit.

Monthly Score: 3.5


ZACH FUCALE (G) – 27 – DRAFTED 2013 (Second Round, 36th overall – Montreal)
Fucale has gotten the lion’s share of starts thus far, getting the call in five of Hershey’s first seven games. He started the season strong, at home, stopping 33 of 35 in defeating Utica and Lehigh Valley on the opening weekend.

Like most of his team, Fucale’s level was not as high away from home. He lost in his next two starts in Charlotte and Hartford. The netminder gave up five goals in Charlotte on October 21, after being staked to a 3-0 lead. Three of those goals came off of rebounds.

Fucale then surrendered four in his next start in Hartford on October 28. The first three of those goals were not on him, as the Bears were consistently turning the puck over and failing with their passes. However, the fourth one was a relatively weak goal. It was a two-on-one, but Bobby Trivigno’s shot was a soft one that floated over Fucale’s blocker.

Fucale rebounded with a strong performance at home on October 30 against Lehigh Valley. He turned aside 22 of 23 shots and did a better job with his rebound control.

Monthly Score: 3.0


SHANE GERSICH (LW) – 26 – DRAFTED 2014 (Fifth Round, 134th overall)
Gersich is off to a slow start, offensively. He has not registered a point in seven games thus far this season. The Chaska, Minnesota native has had three games where he has not taken a shot.

On the season, Gersich has taken a total of seven shots, three of which came on October 30. The area in which the North Dakota product has made the biggest impact is the penalty kill. Paired with Riley Sutter, he is usually one of the first forwards used on the penalty kill. Gersich reads the play well on the penalty kill and does a good job of clearing the puck out of the zone.

Monthly Score: 2.5


MARTIN HAS (RD) – 21 – DRAFTED 2019 (Fifth Round, 153rd overall)
Has Suffered an injury in the first period of the first preseason game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on October 5, and would not play again in the preseason.

Hershey re-assigned Has to South Carolina on October 26. The move was made to get him playing time. The former Shawinigan Cataracte suited up in a single game with the Stingrays, and made an immediate impact, offensively. Has scored the first goal of the game for South Carolina in the second period at Greenville.

He was a minus one in that game, but the Stingrays lost the game 9-3 and there were players who were -3 and -4 in the contest. Has will stay in the ECHL for now to gain experience. He could see time with the Bears later in the season.

Monthly Score: 3.0


BEAR HUGHES (C) – 21 – DRAFTED 2020 (Fifth Round, 148th overall)
The rookie pivot has dished out a pair of assists in three games with South Carolina. Hughes is in the ECHL to get minutes. He will likely see in action in Hershey before the season is over.

Monthly Score: 2.5


VINNY IORIO (RD) – 20 – DRAFTED 2020 (Second Round, 55th round)
The rookie blue liner has gotten off to a bit of a slow start in his first professional season. Coming off of a strong offensive season with the Brandon Wheat Kings last season, Iorio was expected to bring offense to the Bears. He has not found his offensive game yet, registering a single assist in the month.

To be fair, Iorio does not see time on the power play as Bobby Nardella and Aaron Ness quarterback the power play units. The Coquitlam, British Columbia native’s skating is his biggest asset, and he has been pretty steady, defensively. He had a bad night in Harford, but that was the case for many Hershey players that night.

Monthly Score: 2.5


LUCAS JOHANSEN (LD) – 25 – DRAFTED 2016 (First Round, 28th overall)
It has been a bit of a quiet start for Johansen. He skated in the first five games of the season before missing the final contest of the month on October 30 with an upper body injury. The Vancouver, British Columbia native has a single goal on the season offensively.

On the other end of the ice, it has been a little up and down for Johansen. He started strong on the opening weekend, playing a solid game. Johansen struggled defensively in Charlotte. The speed of the Checkers gave him trouble at times, forcing him into making a bad pass and into turnovers. Johansen sometimes is a little careless with the puck.

Monthly Score: 2.5


HENDRIX LAPIERRE (C) – 20 – DRAFTED 2020 (First Round, #22 Overall)
The rookie has transitioned to the professional ranks, seamlessly on the offensive end. He earned the primary assist on Hershey’s first goal of the season against Utica on October 15 when Henrik Borgstrom put in a rebound from his shot.

Lapierre netted his first AHL goal on the next night against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Gatineau, Quebec native snapped a shot through a double screen and into the net for a power play marker in the first period.

Lapierre still has strides to make when it comes to puck battles, work along the boards and his defensive game. On the same night that he scored his first goal, the former first rounder made a mistake that led to Lehigh Valley’s goal. Lapierre tried to stick handle through three Phantoms in the offensive zone and got stripped of the puck. Zack McEwan tipped the puck up the ice. Elliot Desnoyers beat Lapierre to the puck and beat Fucale to the blocker side to tie the game at one.

Lapierre has added two more assist to finish his first month as an AHL player with four points.

Monthly Score: 3.5


BENTON MAASS (RD) – 23 – DRAFTED 2017 (Sixth Round, 182nd overall)
The Elk River, Minnesota native has played in all four of South Carolina’s games this season. He recorded a secondary assist on Tarek Baker’s first period goal against Norfolk on October 22. That is his sole point thus far.

Monthly Score: 2.5


BECK MALENSTYN (LW/RW) – 24 – DRAFTED 2016 (Fifth Round, 145th overall)
The Delta, British Columbia native was in the lineup for Hershey’s first two games. The winger was held scoreless in those two contests with one shot on goal. He was solid on the penalty kill in those games.

Malenstyn was then called up to Washington following an injury to Connor Brown. He has been more effective in the NHL. In three games, Malenstyn has recorded two points. The winger potted the game-winning goal for the Capitals in Nashville on October 29, when he put home a feed from Nic Dowd in the second period.

Monthly Score: 4.0


DYLAN MCILRATH (RD) – 30 – DRAFTED 2010 (First Round, 10th overall – New York Rangers)
McIlrath was named the 45th captain in Hershey’s history on October 14. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native does what he does. He is a stay-at-home defenseman who brings a physical presence to the back end.

McIlrath is not going to provide much offense, but that is not the reason he is in the lineup. He is a solid penalty killer and plays a good defensive game. The former first round pick always stands up for his teammates.

“The Undertaker” is never afraid to deliver a big hit or drop his gloves when needed. McIlrath leads the team in penalty minutes with 23, amassing 19 minutes against Lehigh Valley on October 30. 17 of those minutes came in a fight with Jordy Bellerive.

Monthly Score: 3.5


SONNY MILANO (LW) – 26 – DRAFTED 2014 (First Round, 16th overall – Columbus)
Signed by the Capitals on October 16, Milano was sent to Hershey after clearing waivers. The Massapequa, New York native made an immediate impact. He showed his hand-eye coordination by juggling the puck in midair in Charlotte against the Checkers on October 21. Milano would earn a secondary assist on that play after Garrett Pilon converted Mike Vecchione’s pass for a goal.

On the next night against the Checkers, the former Anaheim Duck gave the Bears a 2-1 lead in the second period. He redirected a Vecchione shot in on the power play for his first goal as a Bear.

Milano added another tally against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on October 29, when he gave the chocolate and white an 1-0 advantage in the first period.

Milano has two goals and an assist in five games played and is a -1. He’s shot the puck 10 times for an even 20% shooting percentage.

Monthly Score: 4.0


JULIAM NAPRAVNIK (RW) – 25 – Undrafted
The Minnesota State product has found it hard to get in the lineup. He has been a victim of a numbers game. Napravnik has played in one game, in Charlotte on October 22. He was scoreless in that contest. The German winger needs ice time. A stint in South Carolina in the ECHL could be on the horizon for Napravnik.

Monthly Score: 2.5


BOBBY NARDELLA (LD) – 26 – Undrafted
Nardella is off to a solid start offensively. His four helpers is tied for third on the Bears and is the most among Hershey blueliners. The Notre Dame product’s five points is most among Bear defensemen and is tied for the second most on the team.

Nardella netted his lone goal of the season in the last game of October against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He took a feed from Hendrix Lapierre and whipped a shot through a Mason Morelli screen to give the chocolate and white a 3-1 advantage in the third period.

Nardella later picked up the primary assist on Mike Vecchione’s power play goal to record his first multi-point game since April 22 (also against the Phantoms).

Nardella quarterbacks the first power play unit. Defensively, there are still times when Nardella makes one nervous. He sometimes tries to force a pass when trying to exit the zone instead of taking the simple out. This can lead to turnovers. His decision-making in his own zone can still be questionable. That is what happens with offensive defensemen. Sometimes there is bad to go along with the good.

Monthly Score: 4.0


GARRETT PILON (RW) – 24 – DRAFTED 2016 (Third Round, 87th overall)
Pilon struggled down the stretch last season after coming back from a shoulder injury. He looks healthy and has had a jump in his step to start the campaign. The native of Mineola, New York has looked like his old self.

Pilon has found the score sheet in five of Hershey’s seven games and ended October on a three-game point streak. The son of former NHL defenseman Rich Pilon is tied for third on the team is assists with four. He is tied for second on Hershey scoring list with five points.

The winger netted his one goal on October 21 in Charlotte. He strode in between the circles and roofed his shot over the glove of Alex Lyon to give the Bears a 3-0 lead. Pilon is a staple on the first power play unit and has spent the season on the top line.

Monthly Score: 4.0


HENRIK RYBINSKI (C) – 21 – DRAFTED 2019 (Fifth Round, 136th overall – Florida)
Rybinski’s AHL debut was put on hold after the rookie suffered an injury late in training camp. He missed Hershey’s first four games. The Vancouver, British Columbia native played his first game in Hartford on October 28.

Rybinski skated in all three games during October’s final weekend. He was held off the scoresheet while firing three shots. The former Seattle Thunderbird has been deployed on the penalty kill. Rybinski plays a smart game and does the little things well. He is not afraid to deliver a hit or muck it up.

Monthly Score: 2.5


MIKE SGARBOSSA (C) – 30 – Undrafted
The veteran pivot has amassed four points in five games. He missed the two-game series in Charlotte on paternity leave. Sgarbossa netted his first two goals of the season in the month’s final game against Lehigh Valley.

He opened the scoring 43 seconds into the game with a wrist shot from between the circles. The Campbellville, Ontario native struck again later in the period when he put a rebound of a Mike Vecchione shot through the five-hole of Samuel Ersson. That tally would be the game winner. Sgarbossa is a fixture on the first power play unit and has centered the top line for all but one game.

Monthly Score: 3.5


HUNTER SHEPARD (G) – 27 – Undrafted
The netminder started twice in October and was strong in both appearances. Unfortunately for Shepard, he did not get the win in either start. In his season debut in Charlotte on October 22, the Coleraine, Minnesota native was the reason the Bears earned a point. He made four high-end saves in the third period to keep Hershey even. First, Sheppard denied Anton Levchi from between the circles and then turned aside Patrick Giles’ rebound try from in close. He then came up big to allow the game to go to overtime with two huge stops in the last minute. Shepard came across and sprawled out to make a diving glove save on Zac Dalpe to keep the game tied with a minute to go. Then, he kicked out his right pad to deny Aleksi Heponiemi with 33 seconds left to secure Hershey a point.

The two-time national champion at Minnesota-Duluth was a big reason the chocolate and white earned a point against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on October 29. Shepard made a sprawling right pad save on Ty Glover with 3:45 in the first on a Penguin power play and then made two more stops on the same penalty kill. In the third period, the netminder was the team’s best penalty killer and made several strong stops on three Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power plays. He has a .921 save percentage and a 2.42 goals-against-average.

Monthly Score: 4.0


CLAY STEVENSON (G) – 23 – Undrafted
Stevenson has been out all season after undergoing surgery on his right hand. He will be heading to South Carolina in the ECHL when he returns.

Monthly Score: Incomplete


RILEY SUTTER (C) – 23 – Drafted 2018 (3rd Round, 93rd overall)
Suttter has been the surprise of the first month. After failing to carve out a role in his first three seasons, Sutter’s role was unclear coming into the season. The Calgary, Alberta native has forged a role as a checking center. He has turned himself into a trusted penalty killer, being one of the first two forwards sent over the boards when the Bears area shorthanded.

Sutter sacrifices his body by getting down to block shots. He has improved on faceoffs. Offensively, the son of former NHLer Ron Sutter has already equaled his career high in goals with two.

Monthly Score: 4.0


MIKE VECCHIONE (C/LW) – 29 – Undrafted
The Union College product is off to a hot start for the chocolate and white. He has recorded a point in five of the team’s seven contests. Vecchione has split his time between his natural position of center and the left wing. He has scored in both spots, but takes more shots when he is on the wing.

The Saugus, Massachusetts native potted the game-winning goal in each of Hershey’s first two wins. On the season, he has a team high three goals. Vecchione has dished out five assists, tied with Mason Morelli for the most on the Bears. All five of his helpers are primary assists.

He leads Hershey with eight points. Also, his four power play points are a team best. Vecchione has registered two multi-point games, including a three-point night in the final game of October against Lehigh Valley on October 30.

Monthly Score: 4.5


CHL (WHL/OHL/QMJHL)


HAAKON HANELT (C/LW) – 19 – DRAFTED 2021 (Fifth Round, #151 Overall)
Hanelt participated in Capitals rookie camp and main training camp in September. He played in the Capitals first preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres on September 25 before being returned to Gatineau (QMJHL) on September 26.

Hanelt made his QMJHL debut on October 1, centering the top line for the Olympiques. He was dropped to center the second line the following game and remained there for most of the month.

Hanelt’s 2022-23 campaign got off to a very slow start, with no goals through the first 12 games, but he finally dented the twine on October 29 against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Hanelt saw steady time on the Olympiques first penalty kill unit and looked solid, which is something that will help him elevate his overall game. He was limited to the second power play unit to start the season.

In some ways, this season could be considered Hanelt’s real rookie season, as he sat out a majority of last season with the shoulder injury, but he produced at a better rate last season when he did play then compared to this season.

Monthly Score: 1.5


RYAN HOFER (C) – 20 – DRAFTED 2022 (Sixth Round, 181st Overall)
The Silvertips 2022 Training Camp wrapped-up at the end of August with an intrasquad scrimmage. Hofer recorded a goal and two assists in the scrimmage.

Hofer participated in Capitals rookie camp and main training camp. He played in the Capitals first preseason game before being returned to Everett on September 26. Hofer was named one of four assistant captains for the 2022-23 season on September 29.

Hofer recorded his first goal of the WHL season on October 2 against the Victoria Royals. The tally came in the second period on the powerplay.

The Everett Silvertips settled their (age) overage situation, and Dylan Anderson was the odd-man out. Everett got down to its WHL-mandated three 20-year-olds by waiving veteran defenseman Anderson, the team announced October 14. The move means forwards Jackson Berezowski and Ryan Hofer and defenseman Aidan Sutter will serve as the Tips’ overagers this season.

Hofer recorded his 4th goal in the first seven games of the season on October 15 against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Hofer notched his 5th goal in the first eight games the following night. The goal came on the power play, but this time from the left side.

Hofer would add a shorthanded goal later in the period for his second two-goal game of the week, his fifth goals in the previous four games.

Hofer quieted down a bit towards the end of the month. He ended the month with 6 goals and five assists in 11 games played.

Monthly Score: 4.0


JAKE KARABELA (C) – 18 – DRAFTED 2022 (Fifth Round, 149th Overall)
Karabela played left wing on the first and second lines and center on the third line in the first few preseason games for the Storm. Then Karabela departed for Washington to participate in Capitals rookie camp and main training camp. He was returned to Guelph on September 26 and opened his OHL campaign starting at 1LW on September 30.

Karabela started the campaign on the first penalty kill unit and second power play unit. In fact, his first tally of the season was a short-handed tally on September 30.

Karabela potted his third goal of the season on October 30 against North Bay Battalion.

Karavela finished the month with three goals and three assists in q3 games played and was a -11 on a struggling Storm team.

The Guelph Storm’s head coach Scott Walker stepped down due to health reasons in the first week of October.

Monthly Score: 3.0


DRU KREBS (LHD) – 19 – DRAFTED 2021 (Sixth Round, 176th Overall)
The returning Tigers defenseman is using last season’s disappointment as motivation to get the team back to its competitive nature.

“I think it’s coming in with an open mind, and then also a bit of hunger into the season, trying to prove people wrong and being the player that I know I am and the team that we know we are.” Krebs said.

Krebs participated in Capitals rookie camp and main training camp. He played in the Capitals first preseason game before being returned to Medicine Hat on September 26.

Krebs was named to the leadership group for the Tigers as an assistant captain on October 26. He has also stepped up his scoring a bit this season, recording eight assists in the first 11 games, and is just a -2. A vast improvement over last season.

Monthly Score: 3.0


ALEXANDER SUZDALEV (LW) – 18 – DRAFTED 2022 (Second Round, 70th Overall)
Suzdalev attended Capitals development camp in July and signed his entry-level deal before leaving town. Over the summer, Suzdalev was one of 46 Swedes invited to the Sweden’s National Junior team camp held in early August. Suzdalev signed with the Regina Pats in the WHL on August 20 and opened camp with them on August 31.

Suzdalev participated in Capitals rookie camp and main training camp in late September. He played in the Capitals first preseason game before being returned to Regina on September 26.

He made his regular season debut with the Pats on September 9 against Edmonton, beginning the season at left wing on the second line. He would hookup with Connor Bedard for the overtime game-winner in his first game.

He recorded his first goal of the season on October 2 against the Calgary Hotmen. It would come on the power play.

Suzdalev scored his second goal of the season in the next game against the Wheat Kings in Brandon.

In the end, Suzdalev would record two tallies against the Wheat Kings. He had three goals in the last two games.

Suzdalev made several less-than-focused passes in the early part of the season. He plays a very loose style, which is good, he just needs to button-up the careless passes.

Suzdalev would post his second two-goal game for week on October 8 against the Swift Current Broncos. Suzdalev scored his 6th goal of the season last night against the Moose Jaw Warriors. It snapped a four-game goalless stretch for the 18-year-old.

Suzdalev has six goals and four assists in 13 games played so far this season. He has spent a majority of the 13 games away from Connor Bedard, on the second line, and alternated between left and right wing.

Monthly Score: 4.0


NCAA/USHL/ECHL


RYAN CHESLEY (RHD) – 19 – DRAFTED 2022 (Second Round, 37th Overall)
Chesley began his freshman season with the Minnesota Golden Gophers on the right side of the top pairing on October 1. He potted a pair of assists in the Gophers two-game sweep over Linwood to start the season.

Chesley earned the secondary assist on Logan Cooley’s first goal in the game at 5:38 of the second period in a 4-0 victory on October 1. On October 2, Chesley assisted on Brody Lamb’s goal that occurred at 8:54 during the second period of a 6-4 victory.

Chesley played in eight games during October. He did not score any goals but had two assists and is +4 for October and the season. He has made six shots on goal. He has taken one minor penalty. He has blocked seven shots.

Monthly Score: 3.0


CHASE CLARK (G) – 19 – DRAFTED 2021 (Sixth-Round, 183rd Overall)
It was reported in September that Clark, who did not participate in Capitals rookie camp or main training camp, was dealing with “injuries” in the lead up to Quinnipiac season. It should be added that the Capitals, for the most part, did not invite college prospects to either of the camps.

Clark played in relief of primary goaltender Yaniv Peretz during the games on October 22 and 23 against Maine, playing 2:55 in the first game and 2:10 in the second. He made four saves in the second game.

Monthly Score: 2.5


MITCHELL GIBSON (G) – 21 – DRAFTED 2018 (Fourth-Round, 124th overall)
Gibson did not participate in Capitals camps in September, however, as previously noted, It should be added that the Capitals did not invite college prospects to either of the camps. Mitchell and Harvard held their first official practice of the season on October 7.

Gibson stopped 17 of 19 in a 5-2 victory in the season opener on October 28 against Dartmouth. One of the saves was an eye-popper.

Gibson remains the number one netminder for Harvard, although he is getting relief in the back to back games.

Monthly Score: 3.0


DAVID GUCCIARDI (LHD) – 18 – DRAFTED 2022 (Seventh Round, 213th Overall)
Michigan State opened their preseason on 10/2, although the Spartans were missing sophomore defenseman Gucciardi for the first two games of the season due to illness. He dressed for his first game in October 13 as the 7th defenseman.

“We’re excited about having him back in the lineup, and I think it says a lot about David that he played that way in his first game of the year against a really good team in a competitive game,” said Spartans coach Adam Knightengale. “He can be a really good player for us. He can really skate, he’s a hockey junkie, and we think he’s just going to keep getting better and better as the season goes on.”

Gucciardi recorded his first goal of the season on October 21.

Gucciardi followed up his first goal of the season with another tally the following night.

Gucciardi had a tough outing against Notre Dame on October 28, He was a -4 in a 5-0 loss to the Irish.

Gucciardi has played in six games in October. He scored two goals and is -1 for the month and the season. He has taken one minor penalty.

Monthly Score: 3.0


BRENT JOHNSON (RHD) – 18 – DRAFTED 2021 (Third Round, 80th Overall)
On October 8, during a 4-1 victory against Holy Cross, Johnson had two assists for the first multi-point game in his collegiate career. He had an assist on Ethan Frisch’s power-play goal at 19:46 at the end of the first period which increased the team’s lead to 2-0.  His second assist in the game was a secondary assist on the goal that Gavin Hain scored at 16:19 during the second period.

Johnson contributed the secondary assist on North Dakota’s first goal, scored by Blake Jackson scored at 4:17 in the first period in a 6-2 loss to Quinnipiac on October 16. He is +3. He has two blocked shots.

Johnson has played in 6 games this season, missing one, and has three assists for the month and the season.

Monthly Score: 3.0


JOAQUIM LEMAY (LHD) – 19 – DRAFTED 2021 (Fourth Round, 114th Overall)
Lemay has played in all eight games so far this season for Omaha-Nebraska. The 19-year old potted his first career NCAA goal on October 21.

Offensively, Lemay has a goal and an three assists in the eight games played, and has been starting on the left side of the third defensive pairing for the Mavericks.

Monthly Score: 3.0


EUROPE (SWEDEN/SWISS LEAGUE)


OSKAR MAGNUSSON (C/W) – 19 – DRAFTED 2020 (Seventh Round, 211th Overall)
Magnusson also started his 2022-23 campaign in August, playing for the Swedish Junior National team in the rescheduled 2022 World Junior Championship. He recorded a goal and an assist in seven games played. (Tournament summary here.)

Magnusson opened the season at right wing on AIK’s fourth line on September 23. He would score late in the game to give AIK a 5-4 lead. He had a goal and an assist in the game.

Magnusson was elevated to the third line for AIK’s next game on September 28 against Ostereund. Magnusson has a goal and four assists in 12 games played so far this season.

Monthly Score: 2.5


LUDWIG PERSSON – (C/LW) – 19 – DRAFTED 2022 (Third Round, 85th Overall)
Persson began his 2022-23 campaign in August, working out with the Swedish Junior National team in advance of the 2023 World Junior Championship in December. He and 46 other Swedes, including Capitals prospect Alexander Sudalev, participated in a week-long camp in Enköping.

Persson was one of 22 Swedes selected for the Four Nations Tournament in August. He began the tournament in the top line, but was dropped to the 4th line for game 2. He would be elevated to the second line for the final game of the tournament for Sweden. Persson would record no points in the three games.

Persson has three goals and two assists in nine games played for BIK Karlskoga in the HockeyAllsvenskan league.

Monthly Score: 3.5


KHL (VHL/KHL)


IVAN MIROSHNICHENKO (F) – 19 – DRAFTED 2022 (First Round, 20th Overall)
Miroshnichenko continued personal workouts over the summer and was listed on the Omsk Wings (VHL) opening night roster.

Miroshnichenko has yet to appear in a game for either Avangard Omsk or any of their affiliates. However, he returned to practice for the first time on October 21. The team posted a video of him participating in the VHL (junior) team’s workout, with the message “Hi all, happy to be back!” Miroshnichenko had been medically cleared for personal workouts, but, until then, had yet to be cleared to practice or play for his Russian team, AvangardOmsk.

Monthly Score: Incomplete


BOGDAN TRINEYEV (F) – 20 – DRAFTED 2020 (Fourth Round, 117th Overall) Trineyev announced in May that he would be returning to Moscow Dynamo for the 2022-23 season. He began training camp with the KHL club right from the start and stayed with the team for the first few games.

Trineyev started slow in the preseason but heated up in the last week, scoring two goals and an assist in back-to-back games. His first goal of the preseason:

Second goal of the preseason

Trineyev continued to heat up towards the end of the KHL preseason. He would add a nice primary assist in Dynamo’s game-winner on August 25.

Trineyev was officially announced as making Dynamo’s opening day roster on September 1. He began the season on the 4th line and would record an assist in the season opener against Ak Bars.

Trineyev was a healthy scratch for the fifth game of the season, but returned to the lineup on September 16. Unfortunately he would be sent down to the junior team (VHL) following the game. After a lengthy absence he returned to the KHL club’s lineup on October 15.

Trineyev played in four games for Moscow Dynamo and recorded no goals and no assists in any of them. He had returned to the KHL club after playing two games for their VHL affiliate. He did not record any points in either of those VHL games.

It is likely those two games were a conditioning stint as he had not played for nearly two weeks, although we were unable to confirm any type of injury.

His overall statistics for this season in the KHL was 24 games played, no goals, two assists, and a -5. He has taken three minor penalties for the season.

Monthly Score: 2.5


By NoVa Caps Prospect Analyst Team

PROSPECT ROSTER

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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5 Responses to Washington Capitals Prospect Report – October, 2022: Alexander Suzdalev, Ryan Hofer And Mike Vecchione Shine In Opening Month

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you guys again for these monthly updates. It’s the gold standard for Capitals prospects.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How is Milano’s defense? Is he Sprong 2.0?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Milano’s defense is certainly being scrutinized, but I haven’t seen anything too concerning so far, having watched all five of his games. Certainly not to the Sprong extent. I get your concern, “why did all teams pass on signing/claiming him?” But so far, I’ve been encouraged. Still early.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Suzdalev looks like a huge wild card, and could be a steal. I know central scouting had him ranked as a first rounder for a long time, but then he suddenly dropped off, and wasn’t clear why? What was found out, etc. He’s got plenty of raw talent.

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