Capitals prospect Brian Pinho’s college hockey career is over after the University of Notre Dame eliminated Providence College 2-1 on Saturday.
It’s now up to the Capitals to sign Pinho to an entry-level contract or let him walk in free agency.
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 25, 2018
Capitals management has kept tabs on Pinho, inviting him to the past five summer development camps.
“I’m just taking it one game at a time. If the opportunity presents itself, that’d be great,” Pinho said to North Andover Wicked Local’s Joshua Boyd last week.
Since Pinho remained a college student through graduation, the Capitals hold his rights through August 15. The Caps have previously lost a college prospect, Thomas DePauli, after failing to sign before the deadline.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman called Pinho “a name to keep an eye on” as a player who may test the UFA waters in mid August.
A pick of general manager George McPhee, Pinho was drafted by the Capitals at 174th overall in 2013. The North Andover, Massachusetts native opted to enroll at Providence after spending a season playing for the United States Hockey League.
Pinho’s offense grew rapidly from his sophomore (25 points) to junior (40 points) year. He saw a slight decline his senior year, recording 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists), but he won the Hockey East Gladiator Custom Mouthguards Best Defensive Forward Award, a goal he had set out for himself this season.
“I think coach has definitely made me more of a reliable and 200-foot player,” Pinho said as he reflected on his play improvement. “You need to be ready to go for every practice and give your best effort day in and day out. The pro level looks for guys who are consistent.”
During his draft time, the forward was praised for his ability to orchestrate the game at even-strength and on the power play. A common criticism was that he needed to get stronger, weighing only 173 pounds in 2013, but he has achieved that goal in the last four years, scaling in at 196 currently.
While serving as Providence’s alternate captain his junior year, Pinho was awarded the team’s Lou Lamoriello Award (Team MVP), Gates Orlando Award (most points), and the Michael Boback Award (most assists). He was named the teams captain this most recent season and was named to East Regional All-Tournament team.
Headline Image: Cara Bahniuk
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