The Washington Capitals announced Sunday morning that goaltenders Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley have been re-assigned to the Hershey Bears.
The team made sure to note that Vanecek is only headed to the AHL for a conditioning loan and The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell believes it is likely he will start for the Bears in their game Sunday against the Utica Comets.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 27, 2022
Vanecek was initially injured back on February 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins when forward Kasperi Kapanen collided with him and sent the Czech netminder flying backward into the goal frame. He has not played since and had been on injured reserve since February 8.
He has been practicing with the team in recent days and if he can get through Hershey’s game feeling good, he will likely be recalled by the team before Monday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Vanecek has been the steadiest of the Capitals goaltenders this season, posting a 10-6-5 record so far with a 2.39 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.
More from the Capitals:
Capitals re-assign Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley to Hershey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-assigned goaltenders Vitek Vanecek (conditioning loan) and Pheonix Copley to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Vanecek, 26, has posted a record of 10-6-5, with two shutouts, a 2.39 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage this season. In 24 games, the 6’2″, 184-pound goaltender has a 1.75 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage at five-on-five. The Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, native has the lowest goals-against average and rebounds allowed per 60 minutes of play (1.86) and the fourth highest save percentage in the NHL at five-on-five among goaltenders with at least 15 games played.
In 61 career games with the Capitals, Vanecek is 31-16-9 with four shutouts, a 2.58 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.
The Capitals selected Vanecek with their second-round pick, 39th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. Washington re-acquired Vanecek from the Seattle Kraken for a second-round draft pick (originally acquired from the Winnipeg Jets) in the 2023 NHL Draft on July 28, 2021.
Copley, 30, made 21 saves in his season debut on Feb. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers and has appeared in two games for Washington this season. In 31 career NHL games, the North Pole, Alaska native is 16-9-3 with one shutout, a 2.98 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
In 22 games with the Bears this season, Copley has posted a record of 13-7-2 with two shutouts, a 2.43 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage, leading the Bears in each respective category.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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