Time For Malenstyn: Beck Malenstyn Ready For Full-Time Role With Capitals

When the Washington Capitals drafted
Beck Malenstyn in the fifth-round of the 2016 NHL draft, they knew they were getting a guy who wasn’t known for his offensive capabilities, but rather a player who was a pain in the butt to play against. 

Fast forward seven years later and now the scrappy winger is a favorite to make the opening night roster and be a regular contributor in the lineup.

Malenstyn has never been the most skilled player, but rather a hard-nosed, grinder type forward who is hard on pucks and loves to crash the net. That skillset was shown instantly when he made his professional debut in the 2018-19 season with the Hershey Bears. 

Though he only put up 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 74 games, he was an important piece to the Bears’ penalty kill and was relied upon as a leader.

The 25-year-old eventually made his NHL debut on Nov. 20, 2019, against the New York Rangers. He did not register a point and would only play in two more NHL games before returning to the AHL. When Malenstyn got sent down, he was suspended three games for elbowing against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and then missed 10 games due to an injury. 

Malenstyn finished the season with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 46 games. 

In 2020, Malenstyn tore his Achilles’ in an off-ice training session, which forced him to miss the shortened 2020-21 season. When he returned the following year, he set career highs with 10 goals and 16 points in 65 games. 

The 6-foot-2 forward also saw 12 games of NHL action and scored his first NHL goal against the Florida Panthers on Nov. 30, 2021. In the 2022 off-season, he signed a two-year, $1.5 million extension with Washington.

The White Rock, BC, native continued to get better and had his best season as a pro in 2022-23. Not in terms of numbers, but rather experience and having a bigger impact. Malenstyn played nine games with the Capitals and started to settle in very nicely on the Caps’ fourth line. He scored another goal and even added an assist to his NHL point total.

Things were looking up for Malenstyn until he broke his left finger on Nov. 1, 2022, against the Vegas Golden Knights. He returned to action in Chocolate Town and had a very strong postseason with eight points (four goals, four assists) in 20 playoff games. He was an important piece to the Bears’ penalty kill and brought physicality to their lineup.

Heading into his sixth year as a pro, the gritty winger is going to be competing with Joe Snively, Aliaksei Protas and Connor McMichael for a spot on the Caps’ bottom-six. Snively plays a very similar game to Malenstyn but has more offensive upside. Protas is a more polarizing presence with his 6-foot-6 frame, and McMichael has been competing for a roster spot for a couple of years now.

 But what makes the former Calgary Hitmen product a great fit on the Caps’ fourth line is he has the perfect makeup of a modern-age, bottom-six forward. He’s always moving his feet, hunting for pucks and bullying the opposition with his physical play.

A strong fourth line for Capitals coach Spencer Carbery could be composed of Malenstyn on the left side, Nic Dowd at center and Nicolas Aube-Kubel on the right.

But regardless of where Malenstyn ends up this season, the organization knows what it is getting from him down the road.

Beck Malenstyn: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

By Jacob Cheris

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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12 Responses to Time For Malenstyn: Beck Malenstyn Ready For Full-Time Role With Capitals

  1. Barry Landew says:

    Good piece. Concur with your assessment, and I think NAK brings speed and physicality to that line as well. Based on your hypothetical 4th line composition (Malenstyn, Dowd, NAK), are you thinking that Protas would be man out, or are you slotting him onto the 3rd line?

    • Jacob Cheris says:

      Thank you very much Barry! Protas I think might be slotted on the third line, but he can rotate here and there. I think it really depends on what the Caps want to do with McMichael.

  2. hockeydruid says:

    Oh, put me in, coach
    I’m ready to play today
    Put me in, coach
    I’m ready to play today
    Look at me, I can be wing on the 4th line!!
    His time has arrived and so has it for Protas on the 3rd line. I hope that at least these 2 make the team and that other guys from Hershey get calls to report to Wash throughout the year so that they can be assessed to see if they are NHL material or not.

  3. GR in 430 says:

    They need Malenstyn’s energy, his hitting, his crash-the-net intensity… but they also need him to play the role that Hathaway has played the last few years — enforcer. Wilson can’t be the only one willing to drop the gloves at any time, because they need him on the ice, not in the box. Malenstyn and Edmundson are the only guys on the roster with NHL capability who can carry that burden (McIlrath has the will to drop the gloves, but not the skill to be an NHL player).

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I’m buying everything you’re selling. Beck’s grit is needed.

    • novafyre says:

      Yes, thank you. Willy is too valuable to sit in the sin bin or the press box suspended or injured. He needs to pull back from being #1 enforcer. Was relieved when Hath took that on so yes we need someone else to step forward.

  4. Barry Landew says:

    I wouldn’t discount NAK’s physicality, chippiness, and willingness to protect his teammates when called upon to do so. The challenge is that he sometimes makes bad decisions and takes dumb penalties.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If Beck earns the 13th extra forward spot ok cool . Like y’all said he brings things to the team that you need. But I am not putting his name in ink on this roster minus well putting him in the line up every night. Several guys on this team are physical and willing to drop gloves when need be.

  6. Prevent Defense says:

    “Sources” indicate that Alex Ovechkin is traveling back to USA this week, to commence preparation for the upcoming season. Please let us know when there is an authentic Ovechkin sighting! And may the Hockey Gods provide a cold and snowy 23-24 NHL Caps season!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Snively plays a very similar game to Malenstyn but has more offensive upside. This must be a TYPO!!! Snively is 5feet4 and weighs 120 pounds..

  8. Jonathan says:

    Beck is the player I’m most excited to see on the ice in a Caps uniform this year.

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