Hunter Shepard is the latest rider of the Capitals organizational carousel.
Forty-eight hours after Pheonix Copley was returned to the Bears, the Caps have plucked another goaltender from the AHL for their taxi squad.
NEWS | The Capitals have re-assigned goaltender Hunter Shepard from the Hershey Bears to the taxi squad. #ALLCAPS | @FTX_Official https://t.co/C4nOYAk4SL
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 6, 2022
Shepard was likely the chosen goaltender this time so Copley and Zach Fucale can continue getting consistent game time for the Bears. Hershey has three games in three days this upcoming weekend and will need their top tandem. Fucale landed in COVID protocol after being summoned to Winnipeg to be the Capitals’ emergency goaltender in mid-December.
The Capitals placed Shepard on their taxi squad, where he will be able to practice with the team and be called to the NHL level if there are any emergency goaltending needs. He has a 2-1 record in the AHL this season with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .901-save percentage.
More from the Capitals:
Capitals Re-assign Hunter Shepard to Taxi Squad from Hershey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-assigned goaltender Hunter Shepard from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) to the taxi squad, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Shepard, 26, has posted a record 2-1-0 with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage in three games with Hershey this season. Additionally, the 6’0″, 215-pound goaltender has appeared in nine games for the South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL, posting a record of 3-4-2 record with a 3.43 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.
The Cohasset, Minn., native appeared in three games with Hershey in the 2020-21 season, finishing with a 3-0-0 record with one shutout, a 1.00 goals-against average and a .969 save percentage. Shepard played in 21 games with the Stingrays, earning a 12-6-2 record with one shutout, a 2.55 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. Shepard earned Goaltender of the Week honors with South Carolina in the week of May 24-30 after going 3-0-0 with a shutout, a 1.33 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage.
Shepard signed an AHL contract with Hershey on June 30, 2020, following a four-year career with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in the NCAA. In 119 games with the team – which included an NCAA-record 115 straight games from Oct. 21, 2017 to March 7, 2020 – Shepard finished with a 76-37-5 record, ranking first all-time in Bulldogs history in wins, goals-against average (1.94), save percentage (.922) and shutouts (17). Shepard won back-to-back NCAA Championships with the Bulldogs in 2018 and 2019, was twice named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Goaltender of the Year (2019 and 2020), earned First-Team All-American honors in 2019 and Second-Team All-American honors in 2020. Shepard finished his NCAA career as a three-time Mike Richter Award Finalist – given to the NCAA’s top goaltender – and a three-time All-NCHC selection.
Prior to his collegiate career, Shepard appeared in 81 games with the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) from 2014-15 through 2015-16. In 2015-16, Shepard earned North American Hockey League Goaltender of the Year honors, was named to the First All-Star Team and led the NAHL in games played (50), wins (34), and shutouts (8), while ranking second in goals against average (1.90).
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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