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Capitals Prospect report: Despite a rumored return to Sweden, Jonsson-Fjallby remains in Hershey

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Capitals Prospect report: Despite a rumored return to Sweden, Jonsson-Fjallby remains in Hershey

It’s a brand new season in Hershey. The Bears had a rough 2017-18 campaign, finishing last in the Atlantic Division and missing the playoffs. This season, the Bears look like a completely new team with the addition of several Caps prospects including Swedish forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby.

The rumor mill this week had some wondering if Jonsson-Fjallby was going to take his golden locks back home to Sweden after only two games in the AHL. Rumors spread Monday and Tuesday saying he was going to return to his SHL team Djurgardens IF, but those rumors are untrue.

I reached out to Hershey and was told that Jonsson-Fjallby remains in Hershey and there are no plans for him to return to Sweden at this time.

Hershey also tweeted out this update to prove Jonsson-Fjallby was still with the team.

You do not know what a player’s specific situation is when it comes to family or how he is adjusting to living in a new country, but from a pure hockey perspective, Jonsson-Fjallby would be wise to stay in Hershey. There he can adjust to the North American game and better position himself to compete for a spot on the Caps in the coming years.

There could even be an outside chance of a call-up this year if the need arises.

Jonsson-Fjallby’s best asset is his speed. If there’s a situation in which the Caps need to plug a player in its fourth line for a game or two, Jonsson-Fjallby could be a good choice because of that speed. Obviously, Shane Gersich or Riley Barber would probably look like better candidates for longer-term call-ups, but it does not seem out of the realm of possibility that Jonsson-Fjallby could be considered if the Caps suffer a few injuries among the team’s forwards.

That obviously won’t happen if he goes back to Sweden.

The fact is, the North American game can be hard to adjust to. Not many players can play in Europe and then step directly into the NHL and be effective. Just ask Sergei Shumakov.

A move back to Sweden for Jonsson-Fjallby would be a step in the wrong direction for his NHL career. Luckily for him, there appears to be no truth to the rumors that he was planning on leaving.

Other Prospect Notes:

·        Hershey has elected to start the season without naming a captain. Instead, the team will go with six alternate captains. Riley Barber, Liam O’Brien and Aaron Ness will wear the A for home games while Tyler Lewington, Michael Sgarbossa and Colby Williams will get the A for away games.

·        Ilya Samsonov started in the Bears’ opening game on Saturday in what was his first ever professional start in North America. Hershey lost the game 3-2 to Syracuse with Samsonov making 28 saves on 31 shots.

·        The seasons for junior hockey leagues are in full swing. In the WHL, Eric Florchuk is off to a hot start with three goals and eight points in eight games for Saskatoon. He was named the WHL’s third star for Oct. 3. Teammate Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen has two goals and three points. Riley Sutter has two goals and six points in six games for Everett. Alex Alexeyev has been red hot to start with three goals and nine points in seven games for Red Deer. In the OHL, Kody Clark has three goals and four points in nine games for Ottawa.

·        Ryan Kennedy named defenseman Benton Maass No. 15 in The Hockey News’ top 75 players to watch in NCAA. Writes Kennedy, “The sophomore offensive defenseman got off to a hot start as a frosh; can the Washington Capitals pick hit another level this year?” Maass scored four goals and 17 points in his freshman season at the University of New Hampshire.

·        Forward Steven Spinner has been named an alternate captain for his senior season at Nebraska-Omaha.

·        The Capitals chose not to sign prospect defenseman Dmitri Zaitsev (whose first name I have seen spelled in four different ways since he was drafted) to an entry-level contract in the offseason, thus forfeiting his rights. Zaitsev was drafted in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Capitals and spent the last two seasons playing for Moose Jaw of the WHL. Since not getting signed by the Capitals, he returned to his native Russia and has split time between the KHL and MHL. 

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Player from Capitals' AHL affiliate discharged from hospital after losing consciousness

Player from Capitals' AHL affiliate discharged from hospital after losing consciousness

Giant Center, then home of Capitals AHL affiliate Hershey Bears, was the site of a scary moment Tuesday night when prospect Kale Kessy dropped the gloves in the second period of their game against the Charlotte Checkers and started fighting with defenseman Derek Sheppard.

Kessy and Sheppard exchanged blows before the Checkers’ defenseman gained the upper hand and landed a knockout punch.

The Bears’ winger hit his head on the ice before he “lost, but regained consciousness on the ice,” according to a statement released by the team. While being wheeled off the ice on a stretcher, he told his teammates, “go win the game.”

Hershey did just that, dominating the Checkers 6-1 behind a hat trick by Virginia native Joe Snively. Kessy was transported to the hospital where he stayed overnight before being discharged the next morning.

“I would like to send my heartfelt thank you to Hershey Bears fans for their thoughts, prayers, and support following my injury last night,” Kessy said in a statement released by the Bears on Wednesday. “Additionally, I’d like to thank our trainers, doctors, EMTs, Bob Goodman, and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for providing me immediate and exceptional care. I am feeling better today, and I look forward to rejoining my Hershey Bears teammates soon.”

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Alex Ovechkin's wife, Nastya, shares their engagement story

Alex Ovechkin's wife, Nastya, shares their engagement story

On Tuesday, as the Washington Capitals honored Alex Ovechkin for his 700th career goals with a pregame ceremony, his wife, Nastya, and their son, Sergei, were proudly by his and even stole some of the spotlight.

While we know the couple is expecting their second child, we hadn't yet heard the story behind their engagement -- until now. Nastya shared that story in a recent interview with The Washington Post.

The couple first met in 2008 at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. They exchanged phone numbers at one of the events and became fast friends. After the Olympics, Ovechkin returned to Washington and Nastya returned to Russia, and the two eventually lost touch after Nastya lost her phone. 

Five years later the two reconnected and, eventually, Ovechkin invited Nastya to come to Washington, to which she accepted. 

One day while she was in the shower with shampoo in her hair, she heard frantic knocks on the door. 

“I was like, ‘What! Do you understand I am just …’ and he didn’t stop so I was like, ‘Oh my gosh’ and I got a towel and I opened the door and he is on one knee with the flowers and with the ring," Nastya said, per The Washington Post. "At first when I opened the door I thought I would kill him. Can you imagine you were in the shower and then you need to get out … oh my god. Why you couldn’t just wait? He said ‘No, no, no, I wanted to right now.'"

In 2016, they went to Russia to sign their marriage certificate and a year later they held their ceremonial wedding.

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