ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals made another roster move on Wednesday. In somewhat of an unsurprising move, the Capitals re-assigned forward Hendrix Lapierre to the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan following his month-long tenure up in the NHL.
Lapierre was at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday morning.
The 19-year-old turned heads with an impressive rookie camp and solid training camp, and with the Capitals battling several injuries he earned a spot on the opening night roster. His speed, skating and hockey QA were assets that could serve Washington well, especially without Nicklas Backstrom to open the 2021-22 campaign.
Lapierre scored his first NHL goal in his debut, but he appeared to cool down a bit as the season went on.
With Washington battling several injuries to key players, including T.J. Oshie and Anthony Mantha, he got an extended stay up with the team, but ultimately, the Capitals turned to Connor McMichael to fill that void at pivot. Then, Lapierre got another chance to draw in with Nic Dowd, Anthony Mantha and T.J. Oshie out, but he couldn’t capitalize too much on his opportunity. Plus, Brett Leason, Aliaksei Protas and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby also showed strong performances, and in turn, got that chance over No. 29.
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Ultimately, Lapierre played just six games up with the Capitals. He dished a goal, seven shots, three takeaways and face-off percentage of 28.57 while averaging 8:37 minutes per game.
In the end, a return to juniors is the best move. It was either that or eventually burning a year of his entry-level deal as he misses out on critical game experience.
There’s still room for improvement as he looks to improve his overall game as a center. He needs to work on face-offs and puck possession, as well as winning puck battles. Getting ice time will be more beneficial to his overall development instead of practices and scratches at the pro level.
The Chicoutimi Sagueneens traded Lapierre to the Titan prior to the start of the 2021-22 campaign. He will get the opportunity to adjust to his new club down there, which should also help his overall game. A new experience and coaching staff will also help him further build on his game.