Washington Capitals forward prospect Hendrix Lapierre is more than halfway through his first career professional season with the Hershey Bears. As one would expect, the season has been one of learning the pro game, as well as learning to deal with the ups and downs of a typical professional campaign.
Lapierre said that he received several warnings before his first full season at the pro level, and that he would have to endure a roller coaster of emotions and events. As it turns out, those warnings were very accurate.
“I was warned that it would be a year full of ups and downs,” said Lapierre in a recent interview with Journal de Montreal. “You’re trying to grow there.
Luckily for Lapierre, he has a solid group of teammates in Hershey.
“They tease me during certain game choices,” added the first-round choice of the Washington Capitals in 2020. “On the other hand, they give me little tricks to help me make better decisions. I’m learning and I love it. ”
Lapierre had a career in the QMJHL marked by several injuries, which drastically reduced the total number of games he played each season. He will now need to play 72 games in his his first professional campaign, way more than any other previous season in his young hockey career.
Lapierre has been up to the task, so far. He says that preparation during the week is key to having a good weekend in the AHL.
“When you don’t have a good week of practice, you feel it during the weekend games. I try to be constant and make the little details that allow me to stand out from others.”
Since the beginning of the season, Lapierre has recorded 22 points, including 10 goals, in 39 games, and currently ranks 11th on the Bears in points per game average (0.56). As noted, Lapierre has experienced the ups and downs of the professional game.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) January 21, 2023
“When you are recognized as an offensive player, it’s frustrating when it doesn’t fit. It’s always fun to participate in the score. ”
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) January 22, 2023
Off the ice, Lapierre says he is loving his experience in the small town of 15,000 inhabitants.
“We posted full in our first match. During the others, we always have crowds of 9,000 to 10,000 people. Several season subscribers take a 60 to 90-minute drive to come to our games. It’s special,” said Lapierre. “It’s not a big city, but everyone knows each other. ”
Of course, Hershey is synonymous with chocolate, something Lapierre is also getting used to.
“When you get home to the hotel, they give you chocolate bars,” Lapierre said with a smile. “It smells like chocolate in the city and it gives the taste of eating it. After a while, you get used to it.”