Connor McMichael was hugely impressive in the preseason for the Capitals and he has certainly carried that momentum with him to the OHL with the London Knights.
McMichael currently leads the league with seven goals and is tied for third with 10 points. That’s just through four games. His numbers were aided by a five-point night Saturday against the Hamilton Bulldogs. McMichael tallied a hat trick and two assists.
McMichael’s shot appears to be pretty deceptive as all three goals were wristers from the faceoff circle. There were no deflections, no screens, just McMichael against the goalie with McMichael coming out on top.
Other prospect notes
- Ryan Merkley, a draft pick of the San Jose Sharks, was recently traded to the London Knights and clearly McMichael has already left an impression on him. “First two power plays (in Hamilton Saturday), I just gave the puck to (McMichael) and it’s under the (cross) bar,” Merkley said. “There’s two easy points. Didn’t have to do much.” McMichael, meanwhile, credited Merkley’s presence on the power play for giving him so much room to work with.
- McMichael and fellow 2019 Caps draft pick Aliaksei Protas seem to have caught the eye of prospect expert Corey Pronman who wrote: “Aliaksei Protas’ (C, Washington) camp was promising for a third-round pick coming in as an 18-year-old. If he gets a little quicker, he has the skill and brain to become a player. He and fellow Capitals prospect Connor McMichael both had strong camps and starts to their CHL seasons.” In four games this season, Protas leads Prince Albert in goals (3) and points (7).
- For those of you eagle-eyed fans who saw the Caps’ opening roster released by the NHL, you may have noticed two names you were not expecting. Prospects Kody Clark and Riley Sutter are still technically with the Caps as both players are injured and, by rule, cannot be loaned to another organization. I asked the team for clarification on this. Both players are rehabbing in Hershey and have not yet passed their physicals. Once they do, they will be officially loaned to Hershey.
- Two players who were injured in camp, but who are not included on the Caps' roster are Alex Alexeyev and Liam O’Brien. Both players are healthy enough that they have both been officially loaned to Hershey. Alexeyev played in two of the Bears’ preseason games. O’Brien has not suited up yet, but a team official confirmed he has “two black eyes” but is healthy.
- Not to steal the thunder of Capitals Radio host Ben Raby, but he asked Caps media to make several predictions before the start of the season, presumably so that we can all embarrass ourselves as we look back at them at the end of the year. One question that is relevant here was which prospects would make their NHL debuts this season. I had four: Martin Fehervary (already did), Ilya Samsonov (scheduled to start Friday), Alex Alexeyev and Beck Malenstyn. I was surprised by just how much Todd Reirden raved about Malenstyn. He was relentless on the forecheck and I could see him fitting a fourth-line role if the team needs it this year. The one issue with him is that you don’t want to see is him go down the path of Nathan Walker. Walker can/should be a full-time NHL fourth line player, but the biggest knock on him is he never played within the system and every time he got into the lineup just seemed to chase the puck. There’s a lesson there for Malenstyn on how to stay in the NHL once he gets there.
- Erick Florchuk suffered a shoulder injury in the first period of the first game for the Saskatoon Blades. He is listed as day-to-day.
- Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen, who was teammates with Florchuk in Saskatoon last season, is now 20 and has advanced past juniors but is not with Hershey in the AHL this season. Instead, he has returned to Europe and is playing in the third-tier Swedish league, Hockeyettan for HC Dalen. He has one assist in six games.
- Alex Kannok-Leipert has been named the captain of the Vancouver Giants in the WHL.
- One final quick aside, Caps prospect Martin Has has probably one of the worst last names possible for research purposes. I quickly realized that while I was researching for this week's report. That is going to be a struggle.
MORE CAPITALS NEWS:
- Samsonov's debut: Rookie will start vs. Isles
- Copley waived: Why Caps chose Samsonov
- Fired up: Rierden still heated at Canes coach