Ryan Hofer: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast


Next up in our annual Washington Capitals prospect review and forecast series is Ryan Hofer, center for the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page in the top menu or right here.)

VITALS

Hofer, 21, is a 6’3″, 192-pound left-handed center from Headingley, Manitoba. The Capitals selected him in the sixth round (#181 overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and signed Hofer to a three-year entry level contract on March 1, 2023. Hofer’s contract will carry an average annual value of $851,666.67 (NHL) and $82,500 in the AHL.

CAREER SUMMARY

Hofer registered a WHL career-high 58 points (25g, 33a) in 67 games with Everett in 2021-22, ranking 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.

Hofer was passed over in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft before the 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.”

“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.”

Mahoney feels Hofer, the latest in the Capitals WHL pipeline, has benefited from a recent change in his role on the Kamloops 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.”

Hofer began the 2022-23 season with the Everett Silvertips before being traded with teammate Olen Zellweger to the Kamloops Blazers mid-season. The Blazers beefed up their roster in advance of the Memorial Cup, which they will be hosting this season.

For the regular season he finished with 40 goals and 28 assists in 66 games played. He shot the puck 278 times for a 14.38% shooting percentage. Hofer added eight goals and seven assists in 14 postseason games.

2022-2023 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS

The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Ryan Hofer during the 2022-2023 season. Also included are his monthly scores (0-5, with 2.5 being average). You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.


OCTOBER

The Silvertips 2022 Training Camp wrapped-up at the end of August with an intrasquad scrimmage. Hofer recorded a goal and two assists in the scrimmage.

Hofer participated in Capitals rookie camp and main training camp. He played in the Capitals first preseason game before returning to Everett on September 26.

Hofer was named one of four assistant captains for the 2022-23 season on September 29.

Hofer recorded his first goal of the WHL season on October 2 against the Victoria Royals. The tally came in the second period on the powerplay.

The Everett Silvertips settled their (age) overage situation and Dylan Anderson was the odd-man out. Everett got down to its WHL-mandated three 20-year-olds by waiving veteran defenseman Anderson, the team announced October 14. The move means forwards Jackson Berezowski and Ryan Hofer and defenseman Aidan Sutter will serve as the Tips’ overagers this season.

Hofer recorded his 4th goal in the first seven games of the season on October 15 against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Hofer notched his 5th goal in the first eight games the following night. The goal came on the power play, but this time from the left side.

Hofer would add a shorthanded goal later in the period for his second two-goal game of the week, his fifth goals in the previous four games.

Hofer quieted down a bit towards the end of the month. He ended the month with six goals and five assists in 11 games played.

Monthly Score: 4.0


NOVEMBER

Hofer got off to a good start in November, potting his first goal on November 1 against the Winnipeg Ice. It was a beauty forehand-to-backhand to the far-side post and was the WHL’s goal of the night.

Hofer returned to the scoresheet the following night midway through the first period against the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Hofer notched his second goal of the game in the second period. It was his third goal in the last five periods of play.

Hofer posted a two-goal game in a 4-3 win over the Tri-City Americans on November 11.

Hofer will get dinged for being 20, but he truly has found another gear in his game, starting prior to being drafted by the Capitals, when he was 19. We’ve seen late bloomers before and having watched seven of his games this month, he could be just that. We will need to see more as the season progresses.

Monthly Score: 3.0


DECEMBER

Hofer continues to show an uptick in his play so far this season, recording seven goals and three assists in the 11 games he played in December. Hofer scored his 16th goal of the season on December 6 in Everett’s 3-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars.

Hofer recorded his 18th goal of the season on Secember 14 against the Tri-City Americans.

Hofer scored his 19th goal of the season (19g, 12a, 31 games) on December 28 against the Tri-City Americans.

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 six games we watched during the month of December. He will be a candidate for Herhsey in September and should make the squad.

For the season, Hofer has 20 goals and 11 assists in 33 games played.

Monthly Score: 3.0


JANUARY

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


FEBRUARY

Hofer continued his impressive scoring pace in February, posting nine goals and six assists in 10 games played for the month. He also recorded a hat trick on February 3 against Prince Albert.

It was his second hat trick of the season, the other coming on November 2 when he was still playing for Everett.

Hofer received a one-game suspension for a major penalty late in the 3rd period against Prince George on February 11, and missed the opener of a six-game Central Div. road trip in Red Deer on February 17.

For the season, Hofer has 36 goals and 22 assists in 53 games played. He’s shot the puck 238 times for a 15.1% shooting percentage. His physical presence in the crease and overall level of compete continued to impress in the five games we watched this month. He has the frame and makeup to do well at the next level (AHL).

The left-handed centerman is playing in his third season in the WHL as an “overager” for the Blazers, and will be looking to make the jump to Hershey next fall. He remains unsigned by the Capitals.

Update: Hofer signed a three-year entry deal on March 1.

Monthly Score: 3.5


MARCH

The Capitals announced on March 1 that they had signed Hofer to a three-year entry-level deal. It was the first day to register entry-level contracts for 2023-24. Hofer’s contract will carry an average annual value of $851,666.67 (NHL) and $82,500 in the AHL. [More here]

“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.”

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.”

Offensively, Hofer cooled down in March, recording four goals and six assists in 13 games played. Not bad, but down significantly for him, an overager. For the regular season he finished with 40 goals and 28 assists in 66 games played. He shot the puck 278 times for a 14.38% shooting percentage.

Hofer and the Kamloops Blazers opened their WHL first round series against the Vancouver Giants on March 31.

Monthly Score: 2.5


APRIL

For the regular season he finished with 40 goals and 28 assists in 66 games played. He shot the puck 278 times for a 14.38% shooting percentage. Hofer added eight goals and seven assists in 14 postseason games. Kamloops was eliminated from the WHL playoffs by Seattle but now await the Memorial Cup, which they will host.

Monthly Score: 2.5


MONTHLY SCORE SUMMARY


PLAYER FORECAST

Hofer had another good season. Many will say he should have had the season he had because he is an “overager”, however in the grand scheme, considering Hofer’s overall development, there has been a noticeable uptick in his game since he was originally passed up for the 2021 draft. So much so, the Capitals decided to select him.

Hofer’s game is setup for the AHL style of game, so it will be interesting to see how fast he gets up and running in Hershey in September. Don’t be surprised if there is very little learning curve as far as his ability to adapt to physical aspects of the AHL game. He will beat and grind from day one.

Hofer’s overall development ceiling will be defined predominantly next season, particularly in the second half of his rookie AHL season. It’s wise to hold off on any final ceiling projections until then.

By Jon Sorensen

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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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3 Responses to Ryan Hofer: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

  1. Prevent Defense says:

    Good on Ryan Hofer! We look forward to seeing him in Choco-and-White, and then Caps Red. Thanks for the analysis Jon

    Don’t want to steal Mr. Hofer’s thunder …. but today has an authentic “Head Scratcher” from NHL-world: Our beloved friend, ex-Cap and ex-Flyer Keith Jones somehow is now the Philadelphia Flyers Chief of Hockey Operations. Danny Briere is now the real GM.

    I’ll let the comments flow here on NovaCapsFans, there should be no shortage of opinions! Trying not to be too negative: I wish Mr. Jones well in his new assignment. But Jones sure was among my all-time least favorite NHL “analysts”, primarily for caustic anti-Caps sentiments. He never missed a chance to rag on Tom Wilson for being “an animal” or Ovechkin for “showboating.”

    I wish I could get Bobby Clarke’s “take” on this hiring. The 2023-24 season in the METRO Division should be oodles of fun!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cant wait to see Hof in Hershey. A shame he couldn’t make a quick visit at the end of this season.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

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