Clay Stevenson Re-assigned To Hershey Bears

The Washington Capitals announced on Monday that goaltender Clay Stevenson has been recalled from ECHL South Carolina and re-assigned to AHL Hershey. The move provides additional goaltending depth for the Bears after Zach Fucale was recalled by the Capitals over the weekend.


The Washington Capitals, the NHL affiliate of the Hershey Bears, announced today that goaltender Clay Stevenson has been re-assigned from the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) to the Bears.

Stevenson, 24, is 3-0-0 with Hershey this season. He made his AHL debut on Dec. 10 versus Cleveland, turning aside 25 shots. He earned starts on back-to-back nights the following weekend, defeating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a 23-save performance on Dec. 17, and turning aside 25 more shots in a win over Lehigh Valley on Dec. 18. He has a 1.96 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage with Hershey this season.

Stevenson has posted a 17-10-4 record with the Stingrays this year over 32 games, owning a 2.57 goals-against average, .915 save percentage, and two shutouts. The rookie netminder earned his first professional shutout on Dec. 3 for the Stingrays, stopping 25 shots and earning first star honors in a 3-0 victory over Savannah. He was named the Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Nov. 28-Dec. 4.

Additionally, the Bears announced on Sunday the club released goaltender Bailey Brkin from his tryout agreement.

While Stevenson initially went undrafted by an NHL team, there was a discernible rise in his game after the dust had settled following the draft. There was enough of a difference in his game that multiple NHL teams were looking to sign the college free agent. It was up to Stevenson where he would go, and luckily for the Capitals, he decided to head to Washington.

“During my recruiting process I knew I had to be going to a place that I had an opportunity to develop and grow my game. The people in Washington’s organization showed me a developmental philosophy that I trusted and thought I could really build my game to the next level with,” said Stevenson.

“I would say the three major factors in the process were; opportunity, development, and people.”

Danny Brooks, the Capitals Director of Player Recruitmant, has done an incredible job in finding undrafted “diamonds in the rough”, so to speak. Just consider players like Ethen Frank, Joe Snively and Bobby Nardella, who also went undrafted and were successfully recruited by Brooks, and you can see that Brooks is good at what he does.

“Danny Brooks is a great recruiter and coach,” said Stevenson. “He has an incredible view on life and is a great person to know and talk to. He is also a good guy to have in your corner.”

On To Washington

Stevenson made his first visit to Washington for the Capitals’ development camp in July, and also participated in the Capitals rookie camp and main training camp in September.

“My initial impressions of the camps were quite positive overall. I thought the camps were put together well with very hard, but good and fun skates. I learned a lot about becoming a pro player there simply by observing the habits of the personnel at the camps,” said Stevenson.

For Stevenson, his initial visits to the District were important to connect with his fellow goaltending brethren.

“It helps with learning to transition your game to the pro level and the coaching staff are very good with helping to do that. I always enjoy making friendships in hockey and there are many guys I am getting close with in Hershey and South Carolina,” said Stevenson.

“One of the earliest friendships I made was with Garin Bjorklund and it has been nice to get to know the guy. The goalie coaching sessions were great to get to learn from Scott Murray, Ollie, and Juha.

”We had a lot of good and fun sessions out there talking about goaltending. It was also nice to have my Dartmouth goalie coach, Jason Tapp, out there for development camp. Having someone I know very well on the ice was awesome to continue talking and working with, even at development camp.”

By Jon Sorensen

Related Reading:
Clay Stevenson Makes The Most Of First Stint In Hershey
Clay Stevenson: 2022 Annual Review And Forecast

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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8 Responses to Clay Stevenson Re-assigned To Hershey Bears

  1. MG says:

    Does that mean Darcy is going to be out for a little while?

    • hockeydruid says:

      With 11 games to play let him be out 11 games and let Lindgren and Fucale play the last 11. That way the caps get maybe an answer to whether they should resign Fucale, especially at 27.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I personally suspect that, but have heard nothing official. Kuemper skated at optional practice today, but no official update from the team.

  2. hockeydruid says:

    Lets look into the crystal ball: trading deadline 23/24…do the Caps trade Kuemper or Lindgren and bring up Stevenson? Do they resign both Fucale and Shepard after this season as both are 27? IF they resign both does that mean that Lindgren could be on the trade block this summer?

  3. novafyre says:

    I sort of expected this when they sent Brkin back to Reading.

    Not a fan of Darcy, but hate the musical chairs. They are not going to send Darcy to Hershey. So Clay comes up. That now hurts the Bears who today are first in their division by one point. Clay and Tyler have been a dynamic tandem in net this year. Putting Clay in Hershey hurts the Stingrays in their chase for the Kelly Cup.

    • dwgie26 says:

      But it does help the bears. Really no different than the Caps calling up Bears. The priority is always going to be the higher club. And for the players, they always want to play up.

      I don’t have the same connection to the Rays like you. Like Caps the most. Follow the bears. Not much on the Rays. But i do like that there is so much talent through the system right now. Caps will not bring home a championship so hopefully the bears and/or Rays can.

  4. novafyre says:

    “One of the earliest friendships I made was with Garin Bjorklund and it has been nice to get to know the guy.”

    Hmmm, does this mean Garin is actually living in the Charleston area? Has not dressed for a single Stingrays game, and is never talked about by the Voice of the Stingrays before, during, or after any game.

    Jon, do you think you could ask Cody if there is any schedule for Garin’s return? Right now, Tyler, Clay, and Garin are the only goalies listed on their roster. (Despite not being visible, Garin has been on the roster all year.) Clay to Hershey is their only goalie transaction this week.

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