It took all of training camp for Capitals prospect Alex Alexeyev to recover from a hit to the head delivered at the Prospects Showcase. Once he did, it took just 62 seconds for him to make an impact.
In his first season as a pro, it took Alexeyev just 62 seconds to score in his Hershey Bears debut.
The two most highly regarded defensive prospects in the organization are Alexeyev and Martin Fehervary who stuck with the Caps through training camp and was able to play the first three games of the season. I believe Alexeyev would have been in the running for that roster spot on the blue line to start had he been healthy.
But he wasn’t and that is the one major concern for him going forward.
I like Alexeyev as a prospect a lot. I see his ceiling as a top-pair NHL defenseman. The problem is he has struggled to stay healthy.
Alexeyev played three seasons in the WHL. In this first two seasons, the league played a 72-game regular season. That was shortened to 68 in his final year. Alexeyev, however, never played more than 49.
There is an element of luck to this as last season was ended by a knee-on-knee hit and, as mentioned before, he took a bad hit to the face during the prospects showcase. Still, as the saying goes there is no greater ability than availability and until he shows he can stay in the lineup, this is the greatest question mark about Alexeyev.
As I said, I think Alexeyev could have been in the running to start with the NHL squad for the first week of the season, but he was always going to ultimately end up in Hershey. Now that he’s there, I am not sure it would make sense to recall him if there is a long-term injury to the lineup. The Caps need to see if he can handle a full season in the pros before throwing him to the wolves in the NHL.
Other prospect notes
- Some extra depth at the NHL level for the Caps is good news for Hershey as it meant getting some unexpected players back in the lineup. Last week, Christian Djoos and Pheonix Copley passed through waivers. On Sunday, Travis Boyd was also placed on waivers and cleared on Monday. Boyd was the Bears’ MVP in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Don’t just assume he will remain in the AHL long-term. He has a low cap hit of only $800,000. It would not be surprising to see him land back in Washington at some point this season.
- Djoos scored his first goal of the season in Hershey’s first game.
- Hershey will not have a captain this year and instead will go with four alternates. Liam O’Brien and Erik Burgdoerfer will wear the A for home games while Mike Sgarbossa and Matt Moulson will get the A for road games.
- Defenseman Kris Bindulis has been reassigned to South Carolina in the ECHL.
- NHL draft analyst Scott Wheeler wrote an article listing one prospect for every team poised to have a breakout season. His pick for Washington? One of their 2019 draft picks.
- Connor McMichael will wear an A for the London Knights this season.
Knights named their leadership group at a sponsor event tonight. Liam Foudy/Alec Regula will share the 'C' (just like Marner/Dvorak in '16!) and Cole Tymkin and Connor McMichael will sport the 'A's.— Ryan Pyette (@RyanatLFPress) October 9, 2019
- Aliaksei Protas saw his six-game point streak snapped on Saturday, but he wasted no time starting a new streak soon after. Protas scored a goal and two assists to help lead Prince Albert to a 4-2 win over Vancouver on Tuesday. He earned first star of the game honors for his efforts.
- Eric Florchuk made his return from a shoulder injury on Sunday tallying an assist in Saskatoon’s shootout loss to Brandon. He was named the third star of the game.
- Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey New ranked his top 100 players to watch in the NCAA this season. Only one Caps prospect made the cut. Defenseman Benton Maass is entering his junior season at New Hampshire this season. He tallied 17 points as a freshman, but managed only six as a sophomore. Clearly Kennedy is expecting a bit of a rebound for Maass.
MORE CAPITALS NEWS: