The Hershey Bears announced on Monday that Washington Capitals goaltending prospect Clay Stevenson has been recalled from ECHL South Carolina.
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The Washington Capitals, the NHL affiliate of the Hershey Bears, announced today that they have recalled goaltender Hunter Shepard from Hershey. Additionally, the club announced that goaltender Clay Stevenson has been re-assigned from the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) to the Bears.
Shepard, 27, has a record of 6-0-2 this season for the Bears and ranks first in the AHL with a 1.83 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. He was named the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month for November, recording a perfect 6-0-0 record in six starts during the month, posting a 1.63 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage for the Chocolate and White. He was the first Bears netminder to earn this honor since future NHL All-Star Braden Holtby was named the AHL Goalie of the Month nearly 10 years ago in December 2012.
The native of Cohasset, Minn., is 14-3-2 in 20 games with Hershey over three pro seasons, with a 1.80 goals-against average, a .934 save percentage and three shutouts. Shepard played four seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, winning national championships in 2018 and 2019. If he appears in a game with the Capitals, it would mark his NHL debut.
Stevenson, 23, has posted a 5-2-2 record with the Stingrays this season over nine games. The rookie netminder earned his first professional shutout last Saturday for the Stingrays, stopping 25 shots and earning first star honors in a 3-0 victory over Savannah. The native of Drayton Valley, Alberta is unbeaten in regulation in his previous five starts (3-0-2).
The 6’4″, 195-pound goaltender was signed by the Capitals to a two-year, entry-level contract on Mar. 28 out of Dartmouth College. There, he recorded a record of 6-14-2, with two shutouts, a 2.70 goals-against average, and a .922 save percentage in his sophomore season at Dartmouth. He was named to the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) All-Rookie Team and the ECAC Third All-Star Team.
Before signing with the Capitals, Stevenson met with both the Capitals and New York Rangers, while also drawing interest from the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken. Stevenson signed an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) to join the Hershey Bears for the end of the season, but did not see any game action.
Stevenson ultimately signed his entry-level contract with the Caps after completing his 2021-22 season with Dartmouth. He participated in the Capitals’ development, rookie, and training camps before injuring his hand.
Stevenson underwent hand surgery on October 1, rehabbed the injury in Hershey beginning on October 15, and finally, the Capitals lent him to the Stingrays on October 31.
By Jon Sorensen