Capitals

Martin Fehervary looking to make early impact for Caps

Capitals

From the time the offseason began, the Capitals have made it clear what they think of Martin Fehervary. 

Now, it’s time for him to crack the lineup. 

The soon-to-be 22 year old defenseman was a second round pick of the club in the 2018 NHL Draft and, with the offseason departures of Brenden Dillon and Zdeno Chara, has a wide open opportunity on the left side of the defense.

“Big opportunity, I’m just trying to work hard,” Fehervary said Saturday. “Hopefully I’m going to make it and I’m going to be in the NHL.”

Fehervary spent all of last season with the Hershey Bears and played 24 games. He tallied 17 points with three goals. The year prior, he played in 56 AHL games and even saw brief time in the NHL. But he wants a more permanent role this time around. 

He spent all of last season working on his offensive game, which included joining the rush and taking shots from the blue line. The Capitals hope they’ve got a young puck-moving defenseman on their hands. 

Still, there will definitely be growing pains for such a young player, especially if he earns heavy minutes early this season. 

“I think the game situations are really important, especially for young defensemen,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s easy to kind of move through these drills out here. Marty’s got a good skill level and he’s a really good skater, so it’s easy to look good. But he’s going to get game situations, and inside of those game situations you’re looking for reads and decision making and how he handles bigger bodies, how he handles the opposition, how he attacks offensively against another team’s defense.”

 

Fehervary will play in the team's preseason game Sunday against the Bruins, which airs at 5 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington, where he’ll likely be paired with a veteran defenseman like Justin Schultz. Not only is that one benefit of having such a veteran team, in that young players nearly always have experienced players to play with, but it’s a future indication of just how highly the Capitals think of their newest defenseman. 

“When you can saddle up an experienced defenseman next to a young player on the back end, I always feel like that’s a big plus for a young d-man,” Laviolette said. “So not always, but oftentimes in camp, we’re trying to make sure the young defenseman has a good experienced d-partner that will help communicate with him.”