NHL

Capitals trade forward Connor McMichael to AHL’s Hershey Bears

Capitals trade forward Connor McMichael to AHL’s Hershey Bears

Connor McMichael he was traded to the Hershey Bears on Sunday morning. The 21-year-old forward has been a healthy scratch for the Capitals for most of the 2022-23 season so far.

McMichael has played in just six games and has zero points.

McMichael originally made the training camp caps: and the Caps lost a prospect on waivers in order to keep the player off waivers in DC — but hasn’t been able to land a regular jersey in DC this season. In his 2021-22 rookie campaign, he played in 68 games at the NHL level and had 18 points (9g, 9a).

In late October, head coach Peter Laviolette was asked about McMichael’s situation and whether a return to Hershey was possible.

“[Connor McMichael] it’s here,” Laviolette he said then. “He’s part of our 23 right now. Things always change when guys come into the lineup or somebody gets injured or roster decisions have to be made. There haven’t been any conversations about that. Right now, we have a roster underway which we are happy with.

“I’m sure it’s hard to sit down,” he continued. “All the players want to play and that’s good. He just has to keep working hard and wait for his chance.”

Although the Caps started the season without one of their best centers in Nicklas Backstrom, McMichael hasn’t seen any time in his natural position in the middle of the ice. He lost a preseason battle with Dylan Strome for that open roster spot.

Before, Laviolette said of McMichael that he is “a good player who is developing, who gets better as he stays here, practices and plays, and gets experience. It will continue to grow and improve.”

McMichael had a very successful 2020-21 season in the AHL with the Bears, where he was the team’s leading scorer. He scored 14 goals and assisted 13 more in 33 games played. He is expected to be ready for Hershey’s afternoon game against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday.

Here’s the team’s full press release:

Connor McMichael Equity Loan to Hershey

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have traded forward Connor McMichael to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

McMichael, 21, has appeared in six games for the Capitals this season. The 6’0″, 182-pound forward recorded 18 points (9g, 9a) in 68 games with Washington during the 2021-22 season, leading Capitals rookies in goals and points.

McMichael, the Capitals’ first-round pick, 25th overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut on January 24, 2021 against the Buffalo Sabres. McMichael led Hershey in goals (14) and points (27) in his first AHL season in 2020-21, appearing in all 33 games for the Bears. The Ajax, Ont., native was tied for second in goals and sixth in points among AHL rookies and was tied for first in game-winning goals (8) and tied for fourth in field goals of strength (6) among all AHL skaters. McMichael was named to the AHL North Division All-Star Team and the AHL All-Rookie Team, becoming the first Capitals prospect to receive the honor since John Carlson (2009-10).

McMichael has twice represented Canada at the World Junior Championships, winning a gold medal in the 2020 tournament and winning a silver medal in 2021. McMichael recorded a goal and an assist in the gold medal game of 2020 and finished with seven points (5g, 2a). ) in seven games in the tournament, the second-most goals in Canada and tied for fourth-most goals among all players. During the 2021 World Junior Championship, he recorded eight points (4g, 4a) in seven games.

In 75 NHL games with the Capitals, Michael has recorded 18 points (9g, 9a).

Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB





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