Washington Capitals 2018 first-round pick Alex Alexeyev likely spent the last day of his career with his junior team, the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, on Monday.
The talented 19-year-old defenseman will head to the Capitals’ organization. The Caps will determine what Alexeyev’s next moves are for the rest of the season, but according to the Red Deer Advocate, the injured Alexeyev is not expected to play again until the fall.
In an Instagram post, Alexeyev thanked the Rebels for everything they did to develop him.
“What a ride, it’s been wonderful three seasons, gonna miss everyone, we all became family,” Alexeyev wrote. “Good luck boys!”
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Most junior players head to their NHL team’s AHL affiliate after their season winds down, but due to a knee injury, Alexeyev’s next step is uncertain.
After absorbing a painful knee-on-knee hit, Alexeyev was stretchered off the ice in a game in late March.
— JohnnyBravo (@JohnnyBravo_05) March 9, 2019
Alexeyev sat out the final four games of the Rebels regular season and their first round four-game playoff series loss to the Prince Albert Raiders. The Russian defenseman has been spotted in public wearing a sturdy knee brace and did so again during exit interviews.
The first pairing defenseman scored 43 points in 49 games but missed nineteen games due to injuries.
“It’s how you get a strong character. You go through tough times and it’s how you become a man,” Alexeyev said to the Red Deer Advocate’s Byron Hackett. “You know how to live life and I think it’s a big time for me.
“It was tough but I came here to play hockey, that’s all I knew. I was proving myself,” he continued. “From there I went to learn English and all that. I’ve enjoyed all three years here, it was amazing.”
Alexeyev signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals in September. He impressed head coach Todd Reirden in the three Rookie Showcase games.
Reirden said the defenseman “continues to show his ability to play the game at a number of different ways,” including “executing passes that normally guys that age and that size don’t do as defensemen.”
Alexeyev in total put up 101 points (21 goals, 80 assists) in 135 games in the WHL.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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