The Washington Capitals have signed free agent forward Henrik Rybinski according to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir. Rybinski, who was drafted in the fifth round by the Florida Panthers in 2019, currently plays for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League.
The six-foot-two, 185-pound center did not sign with Florida Panthers after being a participant in multiple camps with the team and skated in Edmonton Oilers rookie camp this past fall.
Rybinski has 54 points in 39 games in the WHL this season – good for 27th in league scoring – and has played up to 15 fewer games than other players ahead of him. Rybinski ranks twelfth in points per game (1.38).
Dear @Capitals fans,
You got a good one
The Seattle Thunderbirds https://t.co/TEBa0Rmin5
— Seattle Thunderbirds (@SeattleTbirds) March 1, 2022
According to Pro Hockey Rumors, today (Tuesday, March 1) marks the first day teams can sign free agents to entry-level deals that start in the 2022-23 season. Because he’s 20, Rybinski is expected to sign a three-year ELC.
Rybinski, notably, had quite an interesting Draft Day in 2019. The forward had a driver’s test he needed to go to on the day of the draft. Rybinski passed the test and was at a Subway when his agent called and told him he was drafted. He still made it on time to the draft floor to get his hat, jersey, and interviews. The draft just so happened to be in Vancouver where he is from.
3 PM update: The Capitals just made the move official.
NEWS | The Capitals have signed Seattle Thunderbirds forward Henry Rybinski to a three-year entry-level contract.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 1, 2022
In the release, the Capitals are referring to Rybinski by his nickname “Henry.” With the Thunderbirds, Rybinski goes by Henrik.
Capitals Sign Forward Henry Rybinski
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed Seattle Thunderbirds forward Henry Rybinski to a three-year entry-level contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Rybinski will remain with Seattle this season and his contract will begin in 2022-23.
Rybinski, 20, has recorded a career-high 54 points (18g, 36a) in 39 games with the Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season. The 6’2”, 185-pound forward leads Seattle with 1.38 points per game and ranks second in points and assists. The Vancouver, B.C., native has recorded 15 multi-point games this season and is tied for the team lead with four game-winning goals. Rybinski has additionally won 428 of his 775 face-offs this season (55.2%).
During the 2020-21 season with Seattle, Rybinski led the team with 28 points (7g, 21a) in 23 games and was tied for 20th in the WHL.
In 225 career games with Seattle and the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL, Rybinski has recorded 165 points (47g, 118a).
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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