Haakon Hanelt Set To Make His Return From Injury

The Gatineau Olympiques confirmed on Wednesday that Washington Capitals forward prospect Haakon Hanelt will return to their lineup on Wednesday night. The 19 year-old German winger has been out of the lineup since late December dealing with a foot injury.

Hänelt participated in his first full practice with the Olympics last Wednesday morning as the Olympiques prepared to welcome the Chicoutimi Saguenéens for two consecutive games on Thursday and Friday. Hanelt wore a non-contact jersey.

Foot Injury

Hanelt was one of 26 candidates to make Team Germany’s final 23-man roster for the 2023 World Junior Championship. He made the trip to Canada, but did not make the final round of roster cuts, as a foot injury once again precluded him from participating in the annual tournament.

Hanelt returned to Gatineau five days later in order for doctors to make a better diagnosis of the injury. It turned out Hanelt had suffered a fractured foot.

Past Injuries

Hanelt has had incredibly bad luck when it comes to competing on the world’s stage. The fifth-round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in 2021, Hanelt was scheduled to participate in the World Junior Championship (WJC) in Alberta, Canada in 2021. Instead, the 18 year-old was required to rehab a shoulder that underwent surgery at the end of last November.

Hanelt should have participated in 2020 World Junior Championship as well, but he and a good percentage of the German team contracted the COVID-19 virus two weeks before leaving for Alberta.

“All the players who were in Berlin got the virus. We were unable to travel to Canada. When the team arrived, there was still an outbreak…I was hoping I could get my place this year, but it looks like I’m not destined to play for my national team.”

Hanelt was also slated to participate in the World U-18 Championship in Texas in 2020, but was once again unable to participate. He would miss the tournament due to an injury he suffered that was similar in nature to the one that eventually landed him on the operating table last season.


After missing three consecutive international tournaments due to injuries and a Covid outbreak, Hanelt finally got his shot at the rescheduled 2022 World Junior Championship   in August.

All-in-all, Hanelt had a decent tournament. He recorded a goal and an assist in five games played, and was a -2.

Hanelt will have to play well to keep a spot in the lineup, as the Olympiques have been firing on all cylinders, winning 18 straight.

By Jon Sorensen

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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2 Responses to Haakon Hanelt Set To Make His Return From Injury

  1. Anonymous says:

    They need to wrap this kid in bubble wrap.

  2. GRin430 says:

    I wonder what the over/under is on how many games he plays before he gets hurt again… I think I’d bet the under no matter what…

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