The Washington Capitals announced that they optioned Martin Fehervary and Vitek Vanecek down to Hershey, Wednesday morning.
The day prior, head coach Todd Reirden hoped the 20-year-old Fehervary would get a multi-game audition to show how much he had developed in Hershey during the season.
“He’s had a really strong year development-wise,” Reirden said. “It’s the right spot to put him in to start (on his left side with Radko Gudas) and see where he’s at, so we can continue to evaluate where our prospects are at. And as we get closer to the trade deadline, taking inventory of where our players are at. It’s a good time to do it.”
During last night’s game, Fehervary did not look out of place at all, showing off his speed and swarming his opponents. His numbers on the night weren’t great — his shot attempts percentage was 40.7 percent (11 shot attempts for, 16 against) — but John Carlson was the only Capitals defenseman over 50 on the night.
As of right now, it’s unknown if Fehervary’s audition is over or the Capitals are sending him down to bank salary cap space with three days before their next game.
Meanwhile, Vanecek was called up to back up Braden Holtby after Ilya Samsonov got hurt at practice. The move suggests Samsonov will be ready for the Capitals’ 11:30 AM skate today.
More from the Capitals:
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-assigned defenseman Martin Fehervary and goaltender Vitek Vanecek to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Fehervary, 20, has appeared in four games with the Capitals this season. The 6’2”, 200-pound rookie defenseman averaged 15:51 TOI per game and recorded a 54.10 shot attempt percentage (52 shot attempts for, 44 against) at five-on-five.
Fehervary, who was selected with the Capitals’ second round pick, 46th overall, in the 2018 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut on Oct. 2 against the St. Louis Blues and became the first player selected outside of the first round to make his NHL debut before the age of 20 since Samuel Girard (Nashville, selected in the second round, 47th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft) on Oct. 10, 2017. The Bratislava, Slovakia, native is one of 11 defensemen in franchise history to make his NHL debut before the age of 20.
In 45 games with Hershey this season, Fehervary has 14 points (4g, 10a). Among rookie AHL defensemen, Fehervary’s 10 assists are tied for 17th and his +12 plus/minus ranks fifth.
Vanecek, 24, is 13-9-2 with Hershey this season with a 2.43 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Vanecek, who has allowed two or fewer goals in 16 of his 24 appearances, is tied for 10th in the NHL in goals against average. The 6’1”, 187-pound goaltender won six consecutive games from Dec. 6 to Dec. 27. In January, Vanecek was named to the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic for the second consecutive season, where he received Most Valuable Player honors after allowing two goals over four games in the round-robin tournament with the Atlantic Division.
In 134 career games with the Bears, Vanecek has a 65-42-26 record with 10 shutouts, a 2.64 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
The Capitals selected Vanecek with their second round pick, 39th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Headline photo courtesy of NBC Sports Washington
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