Alex Alexeyev was taken off on a stretcher during a WHL game on Friday after he suffered a knee-on-knee hit. A spokesman for the Red Deer Rebels told NBC Sports Washington that Alexeyev is considered week-to-week and is not expected back right away. Not surprisingly, he has not played in any of the team’s three games since.
Any other details at this point are scarce.
Here’s what we know: Based on the replay and the fact that Alexeyev was struck in the knee area and was clutching that area afterward, it is reasonable to conclude that he suffered a lower-body injury.
Here’s what we don’t know: Literally everything else.
When I first reported the Alexeyev update, my Twitter was flooded by a number of fans jumping to conclusions over what “week-to-week” meant for the injury’s severity and treatment. That’s a dangerous game to play.
Labeling Alexeyev as week-to-week does not mean he will not need surgery and does not mean the injury is not severe. Let’s not forget that both Brooks Orpik and Christian Djoos were initially labeled as “day-to-day” after their injuries earlier this season.
Both players underwent surgery soon after and were out for several weeks.
Week-to-week means only one thing: That he was not going to return for any of the team’s remaining three games for the week week. Any other conclusions you want to draw are complete speculation.
Alexeyev could potentially be discussing treatment options, he could be getting a second opinion from another doctor or consulting with a specialist somewhere. He could be waiting to see how he feels after a few days to see if he can avoid surgery during the season. Or it could be a relatively minor injury that just needs rest making a “week-to-week” designation accurate. We just don’t know.
This isn’t to say that Red Deer is intentionally being coy or disingenuous about his health, I am simply pointing out that things can change very quickly and no one should draw any conclusions from an update as vague as week-to-week. We still do not know exactly what the injury is or how it will be treated.
As one of the team’s top prospects, the immediate concern for Caps fans is whether the injury could have any long-term effects on his playing ability. Hopefully that is not the case, but there are no conclusions to be drawn from the initial update.
Other prospect notes:
- Riley Barber is having himself a season. In the last four games, he scored three goals and five points. His 29 goals this season are a career-best and good for second in the AHL. He also leads the team in points with 55 and tied his career-best season from 2015-16. He is at the end of his contract, but it could be possible that he has played his way into an NHL role next season. After all, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Nic Dowd, Carl Hagelin, Dmitrij Jaskin, Chandler Stephenson and Jakub Vrana are all on the final year of their contracts. Not all of those players will be back next season.
- Mason Mitchell was reassigned from Hershey to the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL on Monday in a move that was long overdue. Mitchell played in only 11 games for the Bears and had not played since Dec. 30. He scored twice in his first game with the Stringrays. I have no idea why this move did not come sooner in order to get Mitchell more playing time. I will have to look into this one a little more to find out the reasoning behind keeping him in Hershey until now.
- Aaron Ness ranks second in the AHL with 42 assists. He registered five apples in Hershey’s last four games.
- Ilya Samsonov has a new Hershey-themed goalie mask thanks to Dave Gunnarsson. No, this does not say anything about his long-term future and absolutely no one should read anything into this. Getting a new Bears goalie mask means he has a new goalie mask. That’s it.
- It took 34 games, but Axel Jonsson-Fjallby finally got his first SHL goal of the season. You can see a replay of it here. When speaking to people about Jonsson-Fjallby in the past, Carl Hagelin’s name came up as a comparison. That will likely mean more to Caps fans now that they get to see Hagelin on a nightly basis. Like Hagelin, Jonsson-Fjallby’s strength is his speed. He is not going to be a top-six forward, but getting a speedy, bottom-six forward can have a big impact on the team. That’s the sort of player Jonsson-Fjallby is projected to be.
- Martin Fehervary got a big shout out from fellow Slovak Marian Hossa. At a recent media event, Hossa was asked who could be a leader for Slovakia’s national team and Hossa named Fehervary.
- Mitchell Gibson was named the USHL Goaltender of the Week after leading Central Illinois to two wins over the weekend. Gibson stopped 74 out of 75 total shots including a 37-save shutout on Saturday.
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