Days after winning silver with Team Canada at the 2021 World Junior Championship, Connor McMichael will make his way to Washington DC this weekend to begin quarantine ahead of training camp. It’s unclear when the Capitals’ top prospect will complete protocol, but he could begin skating with the team as soon as next week.
The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir.
Hearing Connor McMichael is scheduled to arrive in Washington this weekend to begin his mandatory quarantine. The 2019 first rounder had four goals and four assists in eight games for Canada in the world junior championship. #Caps
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) January 7, 2021
McMichael had another splendid World Junior tournament centering the first line and posting eight points (4g, 4a) in seven games with Canada. He finished seventh in the tournament in points and third overall in shots (27). McMichael also scored in five straight elimination games, a streak that first began last year.
“The more you’re around Connor as a coach, the more you appreciate him,” London Kinghts GM Mark Hunter said to The Londoner’s Ryan Pyette. “It’s a helluva pick by Washington (25th overall in 2019). You know how many teams passed on him in the National Hockey League? He is confident in his ability. At the start of last year, he was quoted saying he was going to try to win the (OHL) scoring championship. Who says that? But I remember that. I played and saw a lot of kids come through this league and this is one who pushes himself to reach his goals.”
McMichael, who scored 102 points (47g, 55a) in 52 games with the Knights last season, could spend all or part of the 2020-21 NHL season in DC. GM Brian MacLellan said in December that the 19-year-old (who turns 20 next Friday) could land on the team’s taxi squad due to the uncertainty of the OHL season.
“It depends,” MacLellan said. “We’re going to have him come to camp after World Junior is over. He’s going to have to go through protocol so I don’t know how much camp he’ll get in. He’s a possibility for taxi squad. We’re not sure what the OHL’s doing. If they’re not playing.. playing. That’s going to factor into our decision. Maybe his performance at the World Junior and when he comes in. Did he take a big step forward? Where is he at development-wise? We’re going to talk about all those things. If it makes sense for him to be on the taxi squad, I think we’re open to it.”
The Capitals can keep four to six players on the taxi squad and those players would make an AHL salary. In typical seasons, Canadian junior players can either be on an NHL roster or play on their junior teams — they are not eligible to play in the AHL.
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