Capitals prospects Connor McMichael, Aliaksei Protas and Martin Hugo Has each earned invites to the Canadian, Belarussian and Czech Republic national junior team camps respectively in preparation for the World Junior Championship that will begin on Dec. 26.
McMichael currently leads the OHL in points with 56 while Protas is tied for the league lead in the WHL with 42.
The Caps desperately needed to restock its forward prospects with high-end talent and if their junior seasons are any indication, it appears that the team has done so.
"Our guys really liked Protas and thought there was a lot of upside there so we traded up to get the opportunity to draft him," general manager Brian MacLellan said. "We knew his skating was an issue, so I don't know that when we drafted him we thought the progression would be that good. But when we had him in camp, almost on a daily basis you could see his skating get better and him get more confident. So I think leaving camp we had a really good feeling about him that he was going to have a good year- not to extent that he'd be leading the Western Hockey League in scoring, but we were excited about the prospect.
"We're excited to have these guys. There's a long way to go from where they're at to get to the NHL, development-wise. But when you have two players doing what they're doing, it's exciting to have those forward prospects in your organization."
Has, the Caps' lone defensive prospect from the 2019 draft, is currently playing in Finland. Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News asked him about his weaknesses and strengths as a player: “Probably the physical game and being more mean on the ice. The plusses are shooting and overall competitiveness.”
Other prospect notes
- McMichael had a conversation with Junior Hockey Magazine. Check it out here.
- MacLellan had some high praise for Martin Fehervary as well and wants to get him more NHL games this season."I think Fehervary is really close. I'd like to see him in games here at some point if we get an opportunity. He had a great camp. He's played well down in Hershey. He looks like he's pretty close to being able to play." Coming into this season I would have thought Alex Alexeyev was the closest to making the jump to the NHL. I think that has changed and Fehervary is the next man up.
- Prospect expert Corey Pronman released a story on the prospects he was wrong about. Fehervary made the list of players he was too low on.
- Pronman also declared Protas one of the biggest risers from the 2019 draft.
- In the wake of players coming out and describing how they were treated by Bill Peters and Mike Babcock, former player Daniel Carcillo made allegations of abuse and hazing against the Sutter family including Brent Sutter who owns and coaches the Red Deer Rebels. Alexeyev, who played three seasons in Red Deer, came to the defense of his former coach on Twitter.
- Speaking of Alexeyev, Ben Sumner of the Washington Post wrote about how his first season in Hershey is going (spoiler: Really well). You can read the article here.
- Beck Malenstyn was reassigned to Hershey on Dec. 1. He played in three games with the Caps. Check out a prospect profile on him from Chocolate Hockey here.
- Tobias Geisser was loaned to EV Zug in Switzerland on Thursday. According to a team official, the move was made because it was determined this would be best for his development. There are just too many bodies on the blue line in Hershey. Even without Geisser, there are still nine defensemen currently on the roster so playing time was hard to come by. Geisser had only gotten into seven games this season. The official I reached out to thought this move may have happened sooner if not for some earlier injuries to Lucas Johansen, Bobby Nardella and Colby Williams.
- The Hershey Bears held their annual Teddy Bear Toss and broke their own world record with 45,650 stuffed animals thrown onto the ice. Christian Djoos scored the goal that launched the teddys.
- Brett Leason scored his first professional goal, notching the overtime winner in the Teddy Bear Toss game. He was set up by a great pass from Djoos that got him in behind the defense. His initial shot was stopped, but he hit in the rebound for the goal and his third point of the night. The game was also his first professional multi-point game.
- Kody Clark made his professional debut with Hershey on Nov. 24. He earned his first professional point, an assist, on Nov. 30.
- Philippe Maillet's two-point night on Nov. 27 earned him 100 career AHL points.
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