The Washington Capitals announced on Wednesday morning that they have signed forward prospect Ryan Hofer to a three-year entry-level deal. Today is the first day to register entry-level contracts for 2023-24.
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ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed forward Ryan Hofer to a three-year entry level contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Hofer’s contract will carry an average annual value of $851,666.67 (NHL) and $82,500 in the AHL.
The Capitals selected Hofer, 20, with the 181st overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. The 6’3″, 192-pound forward has recorded 58 points (36g, 22a) in 53 games with the Kamloops Blazers and Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season. Hofer, who was traded from Everett to Kamloops on Jan. 8, ranks seventh in the WHL in goals, third in faceoff wins (706) and shots (238) and eighth in penalty minutes (94).
The Headingley, Manitoba native registered a WHL career-high 58 points (25g, 33a) in 67 games with Everett in 2021-22. Hofer ranked sixth on Everett in points and second in penalty minutes (84) during the regular season and ranked tied for first on the team in playoff scoring with 10 points (6g, 4a) in six games.
In 142 career WHL games with Kamloops and Everett, Hofer has recorded 125 points (67g, 58a).
Hofer was passed over in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft before the Washington Capitals finally selected him in the sixth round (#181 overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. But that’s been a source of motivation for Hofer. He feels he has something to prove.
“There’s always that kind of thought in your head,” Hofer told NHL.com. “I’m really thankful Washington took the chance and drafted me, so I’m thankful for that. But I also still feel I have something to prove too. I feel like I’m a really good player and kind of just go out every night and work my hardest and try to prove people wrong.”
Ryan Hofer with another power play bomb, this time from the left side. He has 5g, 4a in 8 games, including tallies in back-to-back games. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/G3fo8dADvG
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) October 17, 2022
Hofer is playing in his third season in the WHL as an “overager” for the Kamloops Blazers, and will be looking to make the jump to Hershey in September. Hofer knows there are things he still needs to work on to reach the NHL, including adding strength and improving his skating.
#ALLCAPS Ryan Hofer with his second goal tonight. 3rd goal in last 5 periods. pic.twitter.com/qDWbdXyJWd
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) November 3, 2022
“He’s relentless in his puck pursuit and he’s a physical player,” Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney said. “And I would say that he’s got a good shot. He’s probably been working on his skill, even more this year, because he’s always had kind of a physical aspect to his game. And he plays hard; he’s a pretty intense guy. He seems like a physical player, but he’s probably working more on his skill level, on his hands and his shot.”
Hofer’s Hat-Trick goal comes at a crucial time, putting us up 5-4 with 11 minutes to play 🔥🔥#whl #blazernation pic.twitter.com/yIUBgNzj0c
— Kamloops Blazers (@blazerhockey) February 4, 2023
Mahoney, who hails from the Pacific Northwest, has established a steady stream of draft picks from the WHL in recent years, with the likes of Vincent Iorio, Dru Krebs, Bear Hughes, Garin Bjorklund, Aliaksei Protas, Brett Leason, Alex Alexeyev and Riley Sutter, all drafted in the last five years alone
Mahoney feels Hofer, the latest in the Capitals WHL pipeline, has benefited from a recent change in his role on the team.
“He’s playing a lot of big minutes, a lot of responsibility and more of an offensive role. Last year was more of a two-way checking, hardworking guy, and I think it’s been really good for him as far as his development. We’re really pleased with how he’s doing.”
By Jon Sorensen
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Just saw this at Cap Friendly. Could be a power forward in the making?
He already looks like he could do some damage in the AHL. His game is very suitable for the next step.
Nice. Jon what about Ethan Frank? Can he play defense or is he a one trick pony like Vrana?
Frank has a pretty,good two-way game already. I suspect the Capitals are trying hard to sign him. Unfortunately Frank will be a free agent at end of the season. He’s raised his stock quite a bit this season, and may want to see what he can get on the open market. Fingers crossed.
I think Frank is definitely holding out for Free agency
I’m thinking Frank is looking for a one way deal. Maybe the Caps don’t want to commit to that? Or maybe they just want to get past the deadline, and know for sure who will be here next year, before starting negotiations in earnest.
There’s still hope, though it’s fading every day.
Good signing. Seen him play a lot. He’s ready for AHL.
He’s a force in the crease. And the definition of a late bloomer.
Great sign. Up and coming power forward to take the place of Wilson in 2 years, give him a year in Hershey. Cant wait to see him in Hershey next season.
Hope he’s the real deal. I worry about his numbers being inflated, due to being overage; see Exhibit A, Leason, Brett. But the AHL will be an excellent test. There he won’t get away with scoring by being bigger, and having a more mature, developed body than his opponents.
Maybe he might be better suited to be a wing, than a center? Sounds more like the classic big wing
I get your concern. He is the definition of a “late bloomer”, so we will see where his ceiling ends up. He’s definitely ready for the AHL