Washington Capitals Prospect Report: January, 2023 – Ethen Frank Rises To The Top, Alexander Suzdalev Continues Impressive Play And Bogdan Trineyev Settles In With Dynamo

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

The report is categorized by leagues/regions in which each of the prospects play in:

  • AHL (Hershey Bears)

We are implementing a new monthly scoring system this season in order to enable a greater flexibility and granularity for monthly analysis and reporting. Each player will be scored 0-5 for the month, with 2.5 being an average development score.

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


The Hershey Bears fell in regulation just twice during the month of January, the first and last game of the month. The chocolate and white also lost twice in overtime, going 6-2-2-0 for the month. The Bears were 3-0-1 in four road games.

Through 42 games, Hershey holds a record of 28-9-4-1 and sits atop the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Atlantic Division with 61 points. They also have the most points in the AHL.

The top line of Mike Sgarbossa, Ethen Frank and Mike Vecchione led the Bears offensively in 2023’s first month. The line produced a combined 32 points in January. Sgarbossa and Frank led the way with 13 points each. Sgarbossa had a team-high eight assists in the month and Frank tallied a team-best seven goals. Vecchione added six points to the line’s production.

Connor McMichael had his best month of the season with nine points. Garrett Pilon returned from injury to compile eight points. Joe Snively netted five goals and added two assists after being sent down from Washington. Mason Morelli also chipped in with six points in the month continuing a steady season.

GARIN BJORKLUND – (G) – 20 – DRAFTED 2020 (Sixth Round, #179 Overall)
Bjorklund was re-assigned to South Carolina at the beginning of the season, but has yet to appear in a game. It has been reported that his absence is due to a back injury, although no public announcements have been made by the Capitals organization.

Monthly Score: Incomplete

HENRIK BORGSTROM (C/LW) – 25 – DRAFTED 2016 (First Round, 23rd overall – Florida)
Borgstrom is not a big point producer, but is a steady presence in the lineup. The Finnish forward has gone 12 games without being a minus player, including all 10 games in January.

Borgstrom is a smart player who makes good decisions. The Helsinki, Finland native compiled five points in the month. Four of those points came in a two-game span against the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Borgstrom finished off a give-and-go with Garrett Pilon for Hershey’s fourth goal on January 13. The goal would be the game-winner in a 5-4 victory for the Bears.

On the next night, the Finn assisted on the first three Hershey goals, including the primary helper on Pilon’s game-winning goal in a 6-2 triumph.

Monthly Score: 3.0

GABRIEL CARLSSON (LD) – 26 – DRAFTED 2015 (1st Round, 29th overall – Columbus)
Carlsson is a defensive stalwart for the chocolate and white, and arguably the best defensive defenseman the team has. He is rarely out of position and makes good decisions with the puck in his own end.

Carlsson is also a solid penalty killer and is tied for the best plus/minus rating on the team at a plus 20. He teams with Dylan McIlrath to form the team’s shut-down defensive pair.

The Orebro, Sweden native chipped in with his most productive offensive month of the campaign. He has dished out five assists in January, including four in a three-game point streak from January 21 to January 28.

Carlsson recorded his second multi-point game of the season on January 28 when he picked up a pair of assists in a 7-3 Hershey win over Lehigh Valley.

Monthly Score: 4.0

KODY CLARK – (RW) – 23 – DRAFTED 2018 (Second Round, #47 Overall)
Clark remains sidelined following October surgery on his left quad. He is out long term and is unlikely to play this season.

Monthly Score: Incomplete

ETHEN FRANK (RW) – 24 – Undrafted
Frank knows how to put the puck in the back of the net. The Western Michigan product potted seven goals in January to run his season total to a team-leading 20. The seven tallies helped him post 13 points in the month, tied for the most on the team. He was named AHL Rookie Of The Month for January.

Frank tallied twice in a a 5-3 win over Springfield on January 13. The second goal came early in the third when he elevated a shot over the shoulder of Joel Hofer. The marker was the game-winner.

On January 21, Frank ignited a third period comeback in Belleville when he lasered a wrist shot from the right circle under the arm of Senators’ goalie Kevin Mandolese. The goal sparked a four-goal third period for the Bears and Frank sealed the 4-2 triumph with an empty net goal.

The Papillion, Nebraska native recorded his second four-point game at Lehigh Valley on January 28. He had the primary assist on first period goals by Mike Vecchione and Mike Sgarbossa. In the third, Frank pushed the Hershey advantage to 5-1 with a breakaway goal 34 seconds into the stanza.

The Nebraskan then added his second marker of the game when he redirected a Dylan McIlrath shot later in the period.

Frank’s 20 goals are the most by a rookie in the AHL and he is tied for the rookie point lead with 35. On the Hershey scoring list, he sits second. Frank also is tied for the best plus/minus rating on the Bears with a plus 20.

Monthly Score: 4.5

ZACH FUCALE (G) – 27 – DRAFTED 2013 (Second Round, 36th overall – Montreal)
Fucale stood on his head in his hometown of Laval, Quebec on January 20. After the Bears scored twice on 14 shots in the first period, the Laval Rocket took over the game. The Rocket outshot Hershey 23 to 6 in the second. Fucale made several strong saves and turned away 21 of the 23 shots. The only two goals came on both halves of a five-on-three power play.

Fucale stopped seven more shots in the third and three in overtime. He was done in by another Hershey penalty in overtime, giving him a hard luck overtime loss in a game where he made a season high 39 saves.

Fucale earned the win in three of his other four starts in January. He prevailed in last two starts of the month, both at Lehigh Valley, to improve his season record to 14-7-2-1. Fucale has a .900 save percentage and a 2.52 goals-against average this season.

Monthly Score: 3.0

SHANE GERSICH (LW) – 26 – DRAFTED 2014 (Fifth Round, 134th overall)
The North Dakota University alum was affected by the numbers game in January. With the Bears getting players back from injury as well as players returning from Washington, Gersich ended up playing in just five games in the month.

The Chaska, Minnesota native played well in the games he did get in. He was positioned on the fourth line, often with Riley Sutter and Beck Malenstyn. The trio gives Hershey a physical and speedy bottom line.

Gersich scored his third goal of the season on January 28 at Lehigh Valley. The goal gave the winger his 100th career AHL point.

Monthly Score: 3.0

MARTIN HAS (RD) – 22 – DRAFTED 2019 (Fifth Round, 153rd overall)
Has entered January with three points on the season. He surpassed that total in the first month of 2023. The rookie blue liner compiled four points in January. Has potted an even strength goal on January 20 at Jacksonville.

The Czech born defender then notched a two-point game against Atlanta on January 21. In that game, he picked up secondary helpers on Carter Turnbull’s second period marker and Alexandre Fortin’s third period tally. Has added a primary helper on Bear Hughes second period goal against Jacksonville on January 2. Defensively, the Praha, Czechia native plays in the top four every night.

Monthly Score: 3.0

BEAR HUGHES (C) – 21 – DRAFTED 2020 (Fifth Round, 148th overall)
The rookie center leads South Carolina in assists with 22 and is second on the team in scoring with 28 points. He ranks second on the squad in goals with 16. Hughes amassed eight points in January.

The pivot netted South Carolina’s opening goal twice in the month, once at Orlando on January 4 and again at Savannah on January 7. He recorded a multi-point game versus Atlanta on January 6 by registering secondary assists on both Carter Turnbull’s second period power play tally and Andrew Cherniwchan’s third period goal.
Hughes added two more goals and two more helpers in the month. He plays on the first power play unit and has 10 power play points on the season. The Post Falls, Idaho native represented South Carolina at the ECHL All-Star game in Norfolk.

Monthly Score: 3.5

VINNY IORIO (RD) – 20 – DRAFTED 2020 (Second Round, 55th round)
The rookie blue liner continues to improve his defensive game. Iorio’s decision-making has gotten better as the season has gone along and the positioning mistakes from earlier on the campaign have decreased.

Iorio has played well in a pairing with Bobby Nardella. Iorio’s defensive improvement allows Nardella to jump up into the play.

He has not been the offensive juggernaut that some thought he would be, at least in the first half of the season, but he has not been asked to be that guy. Iorio’s offensive game will come in time, but right now he is playing his role.

Iorio did score his second goal of the season in the third period of a 4-3 overtime loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on January 11 and added three assists in the month. Iorio has two goals and 12 assists on the season.

Monthly Score: 3.0

LUCAS JOHANSEN (LD) – 25 – DRAFTED 2016 (First Round, 28th overall)
After enjoying a breakout year last season, Johansen has unfortunately again found it difficult to stay in the lineup. He skated in just three games in January, felled by a combination of illness and injury, and has played in just 16 games this season.

The Vancouver, British Columbia native was scoreless in those contests. Johansen has not recorded a point since earning an assist on November 11 and has two points on the season.

Monthly Score: 2.0

HENDRIX LAPIERRE (C) – 20 – DRAFTED 2020 (First Round, #22 Overall)
After struggling through December, Lapierre started to find his game again in January. He snapped a four-game scoreless drought on January 7 when he scored Hershey’s lone goal in a 3-1 loss to Charlotte.

The Gatineau, Quebec native recorded his first multi-point game since November 13 against Springfield on January 14. Lapierre scored a gritty goal, sweeping in a loose puck in front for the opening goal of the game.

The rookie center then registered the primary assist on Garrett Pilon’s empty netter. He finished the month with two goals and three assists.

While that is not close to the level he displayed in November, Lapierre is playing at a more consistent level on both ends of the ice. He was a minus six in December, but turned it around to be a plus two in January.

Monthly Score: 3.5

BENTON MAASS (RD) – 24 – DRAFTED 2017 (Sixth Round, 182nd overall)
Maass has settled in to being a professional player and plays with more confidence than he did early in the season. The rookie defender found the back of the net twice in January to up his season total to three.

He has five points on the season. After struggling to get into the lineup at the start of the season, Maass has earned his way into steady playing time. He is tied for the second best plus/minus rating on the team with a plus 11.

Monthly Score: 3.0

BECK MALENSTYN (LW/RW) – 24 – DRAFTED 2016 (Fifth Round, 145th overall)
After returning from injury late in December, Malenstyn started to find his game in January. He netted his first goal of the season on January 8 when he netted the opening tally in the first period against Syracuse.

The native of Delta, British Columbia scored his second goal of the season two games later when he lifted a shot over the glove of Springfield’s Joel Hofer for Hershey’s second goal of the game.

Malenstyn’s third and final goal of January was a big one. In the third period in Belleville on January 21, he skated into the right circle and wristed a shot off the blocker of Kevin Mandolese for a shorthanded goal that tied the game at two. Malenstyn continues to be an elite shot blocker. He consistently makes strong plays on the penalty kill and is often one of the first two forwards over the boards when the unit is sent on the ice.

Monthly Score: 3.0

DYLAN MCILRATH (RD) – 30 – DRAFTED 2010 (First Round, 10th overall – New York Rangers)
The captain of the Bears is the heartbeat of the team. He is the rock and is always there to stand up for his teammates. McIlrath is a steady presence on the blue line and forms Hershey’s shutdown defensive pairing with Gabriel Carlsson.

While he is known as a defensive defenseman, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native is close to setting a new career high in assists. He compiled three assists in January, including a pair of primary helpers against Lehigh Valley on January 25, to increase his season total to 10. McIlrath’s career high in assists is 11.

Monthly Score: 4.0

CONNOR MCMICHAEL (C) – 22 – Drafted 2019 (First Round, 25th overall)
The Ajax, Ontario native had his most productive offensive month of the season in January. McMichael opened his January account with a quality goal on January 8 against Syracuse. He took a feed from Aliaksei Protas and burst down the left wing. The pivot came in on goal and dragged the puck around Max Legace. McMichael then slid a backhand around Legace’s left skate.

McMichael recorded his second multi-point game of the season versus Springfield on January 14. He scored with a snap shot from the left circle to tie the game at two in the second period. McMichael then set up Joe Snively for Hershey’s fifth goal.

The former London Knight would register two more multi-point games in the month and they came in back-to-back road matchups with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. On January 25, he tallied the first goal of the game, converting a rebound off a Dylan McIlrath’s shot. McMichael later picked up the primary helper on Mason Morelli’s power play marker. He then dished out two primary assists against the Phantoms on January 28.

For the month, the former first rounder netted three goals and had six assists. He is up to 19 points for the season. McMichael continues to see time on the penalty kill and has been manning the point on the first power play unit.

Monthly Score: 4.0

JULIAN NAPRAVNIK (RW) – 25 – Undrafted
Napravnik is in desperate need of ice time. He has been unable to find it in Hershey and did not play a single game in January.

The Minnesota State product’s development is being stymied. An assignment to South Carolina is overdue.

Monthly Score: Incomplete

BOBBY NARDELLA (LD) – 26 – Undrafted
The Notre Dame product returned to the lineup on January 7 after being out with an upper body injury since being hurt in a game against Cleveland on December 10. Nardella produced three assists in the month. It was bit of a quiet month offensively, but that is in part due to Nardella no longer being on the top power play unit.

The Bears have been deploying a five forward power play and that means the Rosemont, Illinois native has dropped down to the second unit. Defensively, Nardella still sometimes makes one hold their breath when he tries to force a pass out of the defensive zone, but he has played well with Vincent Iorio. The pairing has worked well and the two complement each other well.

Monthly Score: 3.0

GARRETT PILON (RW) – 24 – DRAFTED 2016 (Third Round, 87th overall)
Pilon returned to action on January 7 after missing 18 games with a lower body injury. He went scoreless in first two games back, but then started to find his scoring touch. The Mineola, New York native registered an assist in back-to-back games on January 11 and 13. Then, Pilon recorded his first multi-goal game of the season on January 14 versus Springfield.

He shoveled the puck up and over the blocker of Vadim Zherenko for a power play marker that ended up as the game-winning tally. He added an empty netter in the third. Pilon also netted the game-winner in Hershey’s 4-2 comeback win in Belleville on January 21.

The son of former NHL defenseman Rich Pilon came into the month with three goals and equaled that total in January. He amassed six points in the month to up his season point total to 16. Pilon has been skating on a formidable third line with Hendrix Lapierre and Mason Morelli.

Monthly Score: 3.5

HENRIK RYBINSKI (C) – 21 – DRAFTED 2019 (Fifth Round, 136th overall – Florida)
January was a tough month for the rookie. Rybinski played in just five games, after suffering  from injury and illness. The Vancouver, British Columbia native compiled two helpers in the month.

The first was a primary assist on Beck Malenstyn’s first period goal versus Syracuse on January 8. The second was a secondary assist on a Malenstyn shorthanded tally in Belleville on January 28.

Rybinski is a solid penalty killer and fills a bottom six role well when in the lineup. He just needs to stay healthy.

Monthly Score: 2.0

MIKE SGARBOSSA (C) – 30 – Undrafted
The veteran pivot was on fire in December and continued his strong play into the new year. Sgarbossa tied for the team lead in points in January with 13. He dished out a team best eight assists in the month. The Campbellville, Ontario native recorded five multi-point games in the month.

Sgarbossa potted two goals, including the tying marker with 25 seconds left in regulation, against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on January 11. He then registered another two-point effort in his very next game on January 13. Sgarbossa had three other multi-point games, including a three point night in a 7-3 victory over Lehigh Valley on January 28. The center sits atop the Hershey scoring list with 39 points and leads the team with 24 assists.

He has recorded a team high nine power play assists and is tied for the team lead in power play points with 11. Sgarbossa also ranks second on the team in goals with 15. He is tied for second on the Bears with a plus 19 rating, including being a plus five against Lehigh Valley on January 28.

Monthly Score: 4.0

HUNTER SHEPARD (G) – 27 – Undrafted
Shepard continues to lead the AHL with a 2.12 goals-against average. He is eighth in the league with .918 save percentage. The Minnesota-Duluth product started five games in January, going 3-1-1 in those starts.

Shepard gave up a combined seven goals in his first two starts, but settled in and gave up two goals in each of his last three starts, winning twice. Four of those six goals were power play goals, as Hershey’s penalty trouble hurt Shepard and the team.

Shepard is 11-2-1 on the season.

Monthly Score: 3.5

JOE SNIVELY (LW) – 27 – Undrafted
After spending a lot of time on press box duty in Washington, the Capitals put Snively on waivers when Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom returned from long-term injuries. Once he cleared, the Herndon, Virginia native joined the Bears.

Snively picked up right where he left off last season when he was summoned to the NHL. He had the secondary assist on Mike Sgarbossa tying goal against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in his first game back on January 11.

The Yale University alum then went on a three-game, goal-scoring streak. He opened the scoring in the first period versus Springfield on January 13 when he burst down the left wing and snapped a shot by Joel Hofer.

The next night, he potted Hershey’s fifth goal in a 6-2 win over Springfield. Then, Snively gave Hershey a 1-0 lead in the first period with a power play goal in Laval on January 20.

After failing to score in Belleville, the Virginian posted his first multi-point game of the season on January 25 on the road against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He started by earning a secondary helper on Connor McMichael’s first period goal. Snively then put the Bears in front with a power play marker in the second. With the game tied after two, he gave the lead for good a minute into the third period. Snively stole the puck from Kevin Connauton and cruised into the right circle. He snapped a shot past the blocker of Samuel Ersson for the eventual game winner in a 5-2 Hershey win.

Snively scored five goals and added two assists in eight games in January. The addition of Snively makes the Bears a deeper team offensively.

Monthly Score: 3.5

CLAY STEVENSON (G) – 23 – Undrafted
The Dartmouth College product went 3-1-2 in January. Stevenson turned aside all 29 shots he faced in earning a shutout victory over at Atlanta on January 6. He got the best of Atlanta two more times in the month.

On January 11, Stevenson not only beat Atlanta 5-1 with 27 saves, but also picked up a pair of assists in the contest. He had the secondary helper on Kevin O’Neil’s first period tally that would be the game winner and added another secondary assist on Carter Turnbull’s third period goal. On the season, Stevenson is 10-3-3-1 and has registered two shutouts. He ranks second in the ECHL with a .926 save percentage. Stevenson’s 2.19 goals-against-average is the second best in the league.

Monthly Score: 3.5

RILEY SUTTER (C) – 23 – Drafted 2018 (3rd Round, 93rd overall)
Sutter missed his first three games of the season in January. One due to a suspension and the other two as a healthy scratch when the Bears got reinforcements back from Washington. Sutter does not provide much offense. He had a single assist in seven games in the month and has ix points on the season.

However, the Calgary, Alberta native contributes in other ways. He is strong on faceoffs and provides a physical presence on the fourth line. Sutter is also one of the best penalty killers on the team. He is consistently one of first forwards deployed when Hershey heads to the penalty kill.

Monthly Score: 3.0

MIKE VECCHIONE (C/LW) – 29 – Undrafted
While he did not match the point production of his linemates Ethen Frank and Mike Sgarbossa, Vecchione was still a solid contributor. He amassed two goals and four assists in January. The Union College product netted his team best fifth game-winning goal on January 8 in a 4-3 victory over Syracuse. His other goal came in a two-point effort at Lehigh Valley on January 28. He opened the scoring in the first period. Vecchione’s second point of the contest occurred when he hit Ethen Frank in stride with a perfect pass for a primary helper on Frank’s early third period marker.

He is a key cog on the Hershey top line and plays on the top power play unit. On the season, the Saugus, Massachusetts native has 34 points. Those 34 points position him third on the team scoring list, trailing his linemates Sgarbossa and Frank. He is second on the Bears in assists and third in goals with 14. Vecchione is tied for the team lead in power play points with 11.

Monthly Score: 3.5


HAAKON HANELT (C/LW) – 19 – DRAFTED 2021 (Fifth Round, #151 Overall)
Hanelt missed all of January due to injury. He left for Germany to begin preparations for the 2023 World Junior Championship following the Olympiques game on December 11.

Hanelt was one of 26 candidates to make Team Germany’s final 23-man roster, made the trip to Canada, but did not make the final round of roster cuts due to a foot injury he sustained during the run-up to the tournament. Team Germany released their final roster on December 24, sans Hanelt:

Hänelt left the German team on December 23. Five days later, he was back in Gatineau to consult with the Gatineau doctors. Initial reports said it could be a fractured foot.

“We expect an absence of a few weeks,” says Louis Robitaille. Eight weeks? Six weeks? Four. We’ll let the doctors tell us. We are talking about a medium-long-term absence. It’s just another tile that falls on his head.”

For the season, Hanelt has three goals and 14 assists in 28 games played in the QMJHL.

Monthly Score: Incomplete

RYAN HOFER (C) – 20 – DRAFTED 2022 (Sixth Round, 181st Overall)
Hofer was part of a blockbuster trade that sent he and teammate Olen Zellweger to the Kamloops Blazers for four players and a ton of draft picks on January 8. The change in scenery had little affect on Hofer’s offensive output, as he has recorded four goals in his first six games with the Blazers.

Hofer scored his 27th goal of the season in Kamloops 3-2 loss to the Victoria Royals on January 28.

For the season Hofer has 27g, 16a for 43 points in 42 games played. He’s shot the puck 192 times for a 14.1% shooting percentage.

Hofer continues to show above average play in front of the net and an above average shot. He has also been above average defensively in the three games we watched during the month of January. He will be a candidate for Hershey in September.

Monthly Score: 3.0

JAKE KARABELA (C) – 18 – DRAFTED 2022 (Fifth Round, 149th Overall) Karabela heated up in the month of January. It was his best month so far in the 2022-23 campaign. He recorded five goals and five assists in 10 games played in January.

On the down side, Karabela is a -28, on an average Guelph Storm team that is 20-20-4-1 at the start of February.

Karabela has noticeably upped his game in the four games we watched in the month of January. Again, just 18, his ceiling is still somewhat still to be determined, but January was very encouraging. His skating is above average, and his shot is potentially NHL-worthy at this point in his development.

For the season, Karabela has 14 goals and 14 assists in 45 games played. He’s shot the puck just 63 times for a 22.2% shooting percentage on the season. He needs to shoot more. He will most likely spend next season also in the OHL unless a move to Europe is deemed more appropriate for his development.

Monthly Score: 3.5

DRU KREBS (LHD) – 19 – DRAFTED 2021 (Sixth Round, 176th Overall)
Krebs has seen an uptick in offense this season that has come with more ice time. In 11 games in January Krebs recorded two goals and seven assists.

Krebs says the increase in offense and production just comes from confidence while defending. He was also recently elevated to the top defensive pairing for the Medicine Hat Tigers.

“Just playing better defensively and then making plays, and eventually the points would come but that’s not the goal,” Krebs said. “The situation is points are more just about helping the team win and that’s another byproduct of us playing better as a team.”

Besides helping the Tigers win and make the playoffs, Krebs wants to show he should be putting pen to paper.

“I feel like I’ve made a steady incline this entire season and have given myself a chance to prove myself to the organization and Washington as a whole to earn myself a contract,” Krebs said. “But it’s still a lot to come and still have a lot to prove, it’s a constant process.”

This season is a contract year for Krebs before he would become a free agent who any interested NHL club could sign.

Monthly Score: 3.0

ALEXANDER SUZDALEV (LW) – 18 – DRAFTED 2022 (Second Round, 70th Overall)
Suzdalev continued his impressive play in the month of January, although his offensive production took a slight dip for the month. His hands and puck control are top-level but it’s his creativity on the ice, in conjunction with a wicked shot, that continues to be one of his strongest assets and a fun watch on a nightly basis.

He spoke about his goal after the game. Suzdalev was asked about his between-the-legs goal following the game.

We’ve mentioned in previous monthly reports that some credit must be given to the Regina Pats, for not trying to limit Suzdalev’s creativity or try to reign it in. Pats head coach after game on Suzdalev’s between the legs goal:

The 6’1″ Khabarovsk, Russia native has been on an offensive tear since the conclusion of 2022, and was named the WHL Rookie of the Month for December for his performance.  Suzdalev has been most impressive on the power play, and has worked well with phenom Connor Bedard.

For the month of January, Suzdalev had four goals and nine assists in 11 games played. For the season he has 25g, 35a in 44 games played. He’s shot the puck 104 times for a 24.0% shooting percentage on the season.

Monthly Score: 4.0


RYAN CHESLEY (RHD) – 18 – DRAFTED 2022 (Second Round, 37th Overall)
Chesley was a member of Team USA’s World Junior Bronze medal winning team at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships. After returning to the Golden Gophers in early January, Chesley played in eight games, scoring one goal and recording three assists.

January 14, a 3-0 victory over Notre Dame on the road, was a very eventful game for Chesley. He took a major penalty at 2:27 in the first period, thanks to an illegal contact to the head. Fortunately for the Golden Gophers, Notre Dame did not score during Chesley’s major penalty. He then got the secondary assist on the team’s first goal which came at 17:45 in first period and was scored by Ryan Johnson.

In the middle of January, Scott Wheeler of The Athletic ranked him #4 among Capitals prospects, but pointed out that he’s hit some roadblocks this season.

“Though he has defended well for the Golden Gophers in a depth role on a deep team with Frozen Four aspirations, his contributions with the puck have been limited and he really struggled at the world juniors, ultimately moving off longtime partner Lane Hutson’s pair to the No. 7 D role after two games.” Wheeler also pointed out that his game “lacks creativity”.

On January 20, in a 4-3 victory over the Michigan Wolverines, Chesley had the primary assist. He made a diagonal cross-ice feed off the boards to spring his forward for the Gophers second tally of the game.

On January 28, which was Hockey Day Minnesota, Chesley contributed a goal and an assist in a wild 6-3 win. Chesley’s goal, which came at 2:41 of the third period, was the team’s fourth goal and the game-winner, the first of his collegiate career. He also assisted on the team’s fifth goal and had the first two-point game in his career for the Gophers.

Dylan Loucks of Gopher Hole described Chesley’s game as follows, from an analytical point of view.

“Ryan Chesley had a monster game yesterday he had 11 controlled exits on 12 attempts, 92% effective. He also had four shot assists which are the most by a Gopher defender all year. Total xGF on the shot assists was 1.252 which is the highest total by any Gopher player all year. Tonight, he notched his second goal on the year picking the top corner to push the Gophers’ lead to 4-2.”

Chesley has played in all 28 of the team’s games, has scored two goals and has five assists. He has made 40 shots on goal and blocked 41 shots. He is currently 12. He played on the third defensive pairing during January. The Gophers are 20-7-1 and 4-3-1 within the Big 10 Conference.

Monthly Score: 3.0

CHASE CLARK (G) – 22 – DRAFTED 2021 (Sixth-Round, 183rd Overall)
Clark appeared in one game during the month of January. He came in relief for Quinnipiac’s number one netminder, Yanev Perets, on January 20 against Cornell, a game that Quinnipiac ultimately lost 4-0. Clark played 13:10 in the game. He gave up one goal and made two saves.

For the season, Clark has appeared in five games, starting none of them. He has played a total of 50:40. He has made 16 saves and given up three goals. His save percentage is .842 and his goals against average is 3:55. He also dealt with injuries at the beginning the season, which has likely limited his total minutes.

Monthly Score: 2.5

MITCHELL GIBSON (G) – 23 – DRAFTED 2018 (Fourth-Round, 124th overall)
Gibson played six games for the Harvard Crimson during the month of January, winning four of them and losing the other two. Gibson suffered a minor injury in early January that had him out for games on January 14 and 15.

He beat Princeton University on January 6 by a 4-3 score in Overtime. Gibson made 23 saves out of 26 shots. He then lost to Quinnipiac University on January 7 by a 4-1 score. Gibson was in goal, making 25 saves out of 29 shots.

Gibson was named on the initial watch list for the 2023 Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender, the Hockey Commissioners’ Association announced on Jan. 12. Semifinalists for the award will be announced in February, with the field further narrowed to three finalists in March before the winner of the award is announced in April at the 2023 Frozen Four in Tampa.

On January 20 Gibson faced Yale University on the road and won 3-2 in Overtime. Gibson, returning to the lineup after injury, made 23 saves in 25 chances. Gibson was at his best in the final period of regulation, stopping Cole Donhauser on a rebound chance with an extended glove stop at 7:52 of the period. Later on, at the 13:40 mark, he stopped an Ian Carpentier breakaway with a sliding left pad save.

On January 21, he faced Brown University on the road and lost 3-2. Gibson made 19 saves in 22 chances.

On January 28, he beat Cornell 6-2 at home and Gibson made 31 saves out of 33 opposing chances. He had some great stops during the third period.

Gibson has played in 14 games, all starts, and has a record of 9-4-1-1. His goals against average is 2.25. His save percentage is .919 and he has recorded one shutout. Scott Wheeler of The Athletic ranked him as the Capitals seventh best prospect. He remains unsigned by the Capitals and could become a free agent this summer.

Monthly Score: 3.5

DAVID GUCCIARDI (LHD) – 20 – DRAFTED 2022 (Seventh Round, 213th Overall)
Gucciardi played in six games in January. On January 13, in a game against Penn State, he took a major penalty for cross checking and earned a game misconduct. Fortunately, for Michigan State, they won the game, 3-2 in Overtime.

On January 14, Gucciardi assisted on the team’s first goal. Michigan State tied the game at 3:23, while on the power play, when Miroslav Mucha tucked home a loose puck in front after a blast from Gucciardi from the high slot. The game ended up as a 4-4 tie.

Michigan State lost 8-0 to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on January 27. Gucciardi led the team in blocked shots in the game, with four. One of those blocked shots prevented Snuggerud of Minnesota from scoring a goal.

Sam Sclar of the State News considered Gucciardi to be one of the bright spots of that game. He had good scoring looks but Minnesota’s goaltender, Justin Close, made great stops.

Michigan State accrued five back-to-back losses dating back to Dec. 10 and tumbled down six spots in the national rankings.

For the season, Gucciardi has played in 26 of the team’s 28 games. He has scored two goals and recorded four assists. He has 57 shots on goals and has blocked 34 shots.

Monthly Score: 3.0

BRENT JOHNSON (RHD) – 19 – DRAFTED 2021 (Third Round, 80th Overall)
Brent Johnson played in no games for the North Dakota Flying Hawks during the month of January. The last game in which he played was on December 3. He has played in just one game since November 19. Despite not playing since December 3, Scott Wheeler still ranked him #10 among Capitals prospects.

Johnson has played in 13 games for the season, scored one goal, and recorded five assists. He is +5 for the season. He has taken 13 shots on goal and had blocked 8 shots. He has taken three minor penalties for the season.

Monthly Score: 2.0

JOAQUIM LEMAY (LHD) – 20 – DRAFTED 2021 (Fourth Round, 114th Overall)
Lemay played in five games during January. He returned to the lineup for the team’s games against Minnesota Duluth on the weekend of January 13 and 14, after missing four games due to injury.

In the game on January 13 against Minnesota Duluth at home, Lemay had the primary assist on the team’s first goal, which came on a power play at 11:37. The goal put Omaha ahead 1-0. This was his seventh assist of the season for Lemay. The Mavericks won the game 3-2 in overtime, with Jake Pivonka scoring the game winning goal in Overtime

In a 2-0 win against Miami of Ohio, Lemay assisted on the team’s second goal which was a power play tally at 19:35 into third period.

With 24 seconds left in regulation, sophomore forward Cam Berg added the insurance goal when he fired home a shot into the empty Miami net while on the power play. Berg’s empty net tally was assisted by Jo Lemay.

Lemay has played in 21 of the team’s 26 games, scored one goal and recorded eight assists. He had 23 shots on goal and has blocked 12 shots. Scott Wheeler ranked him as #13 among Capitals prospects.

Monthly Score: 2.5


TOBIAS GEISSER – (LHD) – 23 – DRAFTED 2017 (Fourth Round, 120th Overall)
During January, Geisser scored two goals in 11 games but recorded no assists. On January 1, in a game against HCA where they won 8-1, Geisser scored the team’s first goal at 0:45 in the first period. Spielübersicht (nationalleague.ch)

On January 23, he scored a goal against ZSC at 7:40 during the second period which tied the game at 2-2. Team ultimately lost 3-2. Spielübersicht (nationalleague.ch)

For the season, Geisser has played in 41 games, scoring five goals and recording 11 assists. Geisser was not much of an offensive defenseman when he was in the AHL, and that continues in the Swiss league.

Monthly Score: 3.0

OSKAR MAGNUSSON (C/W) – 19 – DRAFTED 2020 (Seventh Round, 211th Overall)
During January, Magnusson played in ten games for AIK, scored one goal and recorded one assist. He had an assist in the team’s first goal in a game against Karlskoga on January 6 which tied the game at 1-1. AIK ultimately won the game 2-1.

On January 18, he scored his team’s first goal in the first period at 16:47 to decrease AIK’s deficit to 2-1. The final score of that game was a 6-5 loss in overtime to Tingsryd.

Magnusson has five goals and nine assists in 39 games played so far this season.

Monthly Score: 2.5

LUDWIG PERSSON – (C/LW) – 19 – DRAFTED 2022 (Third Round, 85th Overall)
During January, Persson played in ten games for Karlskoga, scored one goal and recorded two assists in 10 games. He scored a goal on Friday, January 27, his fourth of the season. His team won 4-3.

Goal on January 27:

For the season, he has four goals and ten assists in 33 games. He has generally played on the third line.

Monthly Score: 2.5

DAMIEN RIAT (F) – 25 – Drafted 2016 (Fourth-Round, 117th Overall)
During January, Riat played in 10 games, scoring two goals and recording five assists.On January 12, he scored a power play goal at 3:33 which tied the scored at 1-1 in a game they ultimately lost 4-3. Spielübersicht (nationalleague.ch)

On January 21, he scored the team’s first goal at 4:45 which put the team up 1-0. They ultimately won 5-4 in Overtime. Spielübersicht (nationalleague.ch)

For his season with a struggling Lausanne team in the Swiss National League, he has played in 41 games with eight goals and 12 assists.

Monthly Score: 2.5


IVAN MIROSHNICHENKO (F) – 19 – DRAFTED 2022 (First Round, 20th Overall)
On January 8, Miroshnichenko recorded an assist on a goal by Korbin Knight. The goal came 17 seconds into the second period and put Avangard Omsk up 1-0 in a game they ultimately won 2-1. Miroshnichenko was on the first line this game as a replacement for Reed Boucher who was ill.

Korbin Knight had great praise for Miroshnichenko’s assist, “It was a combat match. We know that Avtomobilist is in a difficult situation now, and because of this, perhaps, motivation is higher. We knew they were going to fight. But the main thing is that each of us contributed to the common cause and we achieved success. As for the game in the link with Ivan Miroshnichenko, everything was great, he is a young player and everything went great.

“I won’t say that I expected such an assist from Ivan in the episode with my goal. But he’s a talented guy, a very good player, so he can give something so beautiful. We need to give him credit.”

However, since then his ice time declined to just six minutes in the game on January 11 as he was on the fourth line. From January 16-18, he dressed as the “extra” forward and got just .21 seconds of ice time on January 16.

He scored a goal on January 27 in a game where Omsk Avangard played Moscow Dynamo. He made a nice defensive play in the zone and got the redirect for his second career goal in the NHL.

For the month of January, Miroshnichenko played in 10 games with Moscow Dynamo, scoring one goal and recording one assist. For the season so far, Miroshnichenko has played in 17 games for Moscow Dynamo and has recorded two goals and recorded one assist.

Monthly Score: 3.0

BOGDAN TRINEYEV (F) – 20 – DRAFTED 2020 (Fourth Round, 117th Overall)
Trineyev returned to Moscow Dynamo’s lineup on January 3 and recorded the primary assist on the team’s first goal.

Trineyev scored his first career goal in the KHL on January 8. It was the team’s only goal in a 3-1 loss to Torpedo. Trineyev’s goal came on the power play at 9:10 of the first period. At the time, it put Dynamo ahead, 1-0.

After scoring his first career goal in the KHL on January 8, Trineyev recorded the primary assist on Dynamo’s game-winning goal late in the third period against Salavat Ufa.

Trineyev second his second career KHL goal

In the game against Admiral, Trineyev began taking face-offs for the first time in the KHL.

Trineyev nearly potted the game-winning goal in regulation on January 29 against Barys, but then provided the primary assist for the game-winner in overtime.

He also had a monster hit in the game.

Trineyev was dropped to the fourth line for some reason on the last game of the month. It didn’t matter, as he provided the primary assist on Dynamo’s first goal.

During the month of January, Trineyev played in 12 games for Moscow Dynamo. He scored two goals and recorded six assists. He has generally played on the second line for most of January. He’s also starting to earn the trust of the coaches, who have now used him in 3-on-3 overtime and is a steady component of Dynamo’s power play. He also started taking regular faceoffs for Dynamo in January.

Monthly Score: 4.0

By NoVa Caps Prospect Team

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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16 Responses to Washington Capitals Prospect Report: January, 2023 – Ethen Frank Rises To The Top, Alexander Suzdalev Continues Impressive Play And Bogdan Trineyev Settles In With Dynamo

  1. Anonymous says:

    A great update that took a lot of work!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had the chance to watch Regina Pats a couple of times. They are wild.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      That’s a great way to sum them up. I look forward to their games almost as much as Caps gsmes. Have t missed but one or two all season. Watching them now, playing the Calgary Hitmen at the Saddle Dome. Sold out, 17,500 all looking to get a glimpse of Bedard.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Thanks Jon.

    I’m trying to figure out why Frank didn’t get a 5.0, and I’m at a loss.

  4. novafyre says:

    I wish that during one of his call-ups Clay had had a chance to play in a Bears game. You mention the shutout, but not the game where he was pulled after letting in 2 of the 3 shots he faced. He left for Hershey immediately after. Did well when he returned, nothing has been published or talked about concerning that pullout, but it did occur and is puzzling to me.

    If we’re looking for a full season grade I’m ok with Bear’s score, but if you are grading only on this past month I think it is too high. He did not perform well at the All Stars and has not been productive since. Since hockey is opaque, I don’t know if he is battling some sort of injury, too minor to sit but enough to affect his game. Under your old grading I would have said “no change.”

  5. Anonymous says:


  6. Lance says:

    I love these reports. Thanks, Jon!

    I’m a long time prospects follower (Reggie Savage, anyone? Martin Gendron?). The jump from AHL (or KHL or SHL) to the NHL must be really significant. So many great players at the lower levels just can’t get it done consistently at the NHL level. Even though I like to see the 4.0 grades above BMac or the next GM has to find some 5.0’s. Those star players are the difference-makers. You can fill in around your stars with solid NHL players. But pipeline must continue to produce stars. BMac hasn’t done that. I realize he’s been drafting late but there are no excuses. You have to identify the future stars and find a way to get some of them. Vrana didn’t work long-term. Samsonov didn’t work. Lucas Jo didn’t work. Alexeev will play. I like the CMac, Hendrix and Miroshnichenko picks. But BMac has to get better at drafting stars. He has to trade up higher in the draft somehow.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Lance. It’s not just me, but our entire prospect team works throughout the month watching games and assembling data. But we love to do it.

      Your prospect recall is impressive. I also agree Mac needs to start landing a few top tier players, which is difficult to do when you are picking nic-to-late round each year. I like what he’s doing by rolling the dice on-layers that may be seemed by others to be a risk (Miroshnichenko, LaPierre, etc). It’s one possible approach at landing a top-tier prospect.

      • Lance says:

        Yeah, I have obsessed about the draft for a long time. If I wasn’t enjoying what I’m doing I would love to go into scouting or helping find star players. The travel must be tough. The Caps had all those picks from the Scott Stevens blunder and the Kristich/Dafoe trade. Almost all of our picks in that period missed. Gonchar made it. Witt made it. Allison was ok. Peake was gonna be a 35 goal guy but couldn’t get healthy. Halverson, Elomo, Kharlamov, Brad Church, Slaney was a little earlier. Oh an Volchkov totally bombed. And we passed on so many future stars. What might have been! But we do have Ovie and Backstrom. I’m not gonna complain too much.

        • Anonymous says:

          Obsessing over the draft is expected, as there is some real concern. Look at the number of draft picks on the Capitals current roster.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Trineyev is a sleeper. He’s gonna make the NHL. Calling it now

  8. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why there is no official statement re: Bjorklund…strange.

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